Discussions between the studio and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees on Wednesday reached a “critical juncture”, the union president told members on Wednesday.
Locals on Union’s 1st West Coast appear to be moving toward a vote of approval for the strike, with talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers making little progress.
Matthew de Loeb, president of the International Union, said: “We have come together to demand more humane working conditions across the industry, including reasonable rest between working days and weekends and rest, fair wages in streaming production and a living wage mood.” Wrote to members on Wednesday.
Loeb added that locals on the West Coast, who represent about 60,000 of the union’s 150,000 members, have the unanimous support of the general executive board. He said the board is committed to “re-sourcing the necessary efforts and actions” to achieve the goals of the locals.
“If the mega-corporations that make up the AMPTP are about our core priorities and are reluctant to treat workers with human dignity, we are going to have to work together to change their minds,” Loeb wrote.
IATSE2018 has taken a much more aggressive stance in 2018 than in the last round of negotiations. For example, the union refused to ask for a vote to approve the strike, although a rank is difficult despite requests from some rank-and-file.
Last week, locals began preparing members for the possibility of such a vote. Approving a strike does not mean that a strike is inevitable, or perhaps. But it would signal support for the union leadership at the negotiating table, while a “no” vote would effectively snatch the union from any leverage.
1 locals The locals have been bargaining since the beginning of summer by keeping AMPTP on and off.
Negotiations are underway to increase production, due to epidemics and delayed projects due to ongoing demand for materials. Some members believe the union has received leverage to solve problems that persist year after year – especially long production hours, short expansion times and lack of food breaks.
Just as important, unions are seeking better funding for health and pension plans. Many argue that as the industry has shifted extensively to streaming, bottom line workers have been excluded from the merit-based principal salary-allowance.
Still, some are wary of going on strike when there is so much work to do.
“It makes me a little nervous,” said a member of IATSE Local 60,000. Strikes are not easy. I don’t think everyone understands that there is no handout. You will get nothing during the strike. ”
The original three-year contract was due to expire on July 31, but was extended to September 10 as negotiations continued. That deadline has passed without an agreement, but negotiations continue.