The International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) is expected to hold a strike vote in the coming week, after negotiations broke down between the union and the major film studios. The union, represents behind-the-scenes entertainment industry workers including cinematographers; camera operators; editors; wardrobe, makeup, and hair workers; stagecraft workers; and much more. Without them, movies and television shows and live shows from Broadway to stadiums cannot happen, and billions of dollars in profit are made possible by their work.
The workers are calling on the studios to treat “new media” as what it now is: media, no longer a new and unstable format that requires workers to make concessions. They’re calling for reasonable rest—basically a night’s rest and weekend breaks. And they need the pensions and health coverage they’ve worked for to remain secure and available to them for years to come.
Contracts with premium cable networks like HBO and Showtime are not expiring, though, so a potential strike would not affect those productions.
“On behalf of our hundreds of thousands of members working across film and television, we stand in solidarity with our I.A.T.S.E. brothers, sisters and kin,” the leaders of other entertainment industry unions, including the Directors Guild of America, the Teamsters, SAG-AFTRA, and the Writers Guild of America, East, said in a statement. “The basic quality of life and living wage rights they’re fighting for in their negotiations are the issues that impact all of us who work on sets and productions.“