Entertainment IATSE Strike Plan Details: How the Picket Line Would Work
“Change That Is Long Overdue”: Why IATSE May Call for a Strike
On Sept. 18, as industry power brokers were getting ready for the Primetime Emmy Awards telecast, an estimated 2,800 crafts workers in Local 700 — which represents Hollywood editors — participated in a roughly four-hour remote call to discuss options if their umbrella union, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, were to call on tens of thousands of its 150,000 members to strike. At least one other local held a similar call over the awards weekend. IATSE, which represents crewmembers including grips, cinematographers, editors, costumers, hairstylists and more, informed members Sept.
One day afterannounced a of Oct. 18 against the entertainment industry, the union is offering members guidance on who would and wouldn’t be on strike, whether striking members can collect unemployment and if they risk losing their healthcare in the event of a work stoppage.
In a “2021 Strike FAQs” document sent to Locals’ members on Thursday, the union gives new details about a strike that it has said will begin on Monday, Oct. 18 at 12:01 a.m. PT if contract talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) are not resolved by the end of the weekend. In the document the union confirms that if a strike is called, the union’s 13 West Coast Locals will go on strike, including three with members nationwide (Locals 600, 700 and 800). The union added that Studio Mechanics nationwide, as well as Local 161, Local USA-829 members and Local 798 members in select areas, would go on strike.
What You Need to Know About the Potential IATSE Strike (and How It Could Affect Hollywood)
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees is preparing to strike. What does that mean for Hollywood? The strike authorization vote is expected to begin on Oct. 1, with results announced on Oct. 4. © Provided by People GETTY How Could This Affect the Film and Television Industries? According to Deadline, the AMPTP countered these statements by saying that they are "committed to reaching an agreement at the bargaining table that balances the needs of both parties and will keep the industry working.
The contracts that would remain in effect during a strike include the union’s Sports Broadcasting, Low Budget Theatrical and Pay Television Agreements as well as the Commercial and Music Video Production Agreements, and select independent agreements. “You must check with the Local about any job before you continue to perform or accept new work,” the document tells members. “We will be coordinating closely about what work is not struck, and will be contacting the few members who are not required to strike in the event a strike is called.”
On Monday, members are advised to check their emails in the morning before going to work to determine whether a strike is in effect. If a strike is occurring, members will be expected to picket at a studio, their work location, or other location determined by their Local, the union says.
Hollywood union workers vote to authorize an industry-wide strike
Over the weekend, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, or the IATSE, said that 90% of 60,000 eligible voters cast ballots in aupport of a strike.Over the weekend, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, or the IATSE, said that 90% of 60,000 eligible voters cast ballots, with more than 98% in support of strike authorization. In total, the union acts on behalf of 150,000 crew members in the U.S. and Canada.
The union also states the consequences for “scabbing,” or working while a strike is ongoing or taking a striking worker’s place. Members who cross a picket line “will be in violation of the IATSE Constitution and Bylaws and will be subject to discipline by their Local and the International,” which could include fines, being subject to “public censure,” being suspended or expelled. Non-IATSE members who scab “jeopardize ever becoming members of this great Alliance,” the document says. The union further adds that it asks all workers not to do IATSE-covered work during a strike.
Should IATSE call a strike, the union related that employers are “legally required” to arrange and pay for union workers to return home with their gear, whether they are working within or outside the U.S. “You will need to take the return trip offer as they will not be required to continue housing you if you refuse the offer,” the union explains in the document. “If you are approached about being ‘held’ with the payment of hold fees, that is inconsistent with being on strike and you should insist on being sent home.”
With Threatened Strike Deadline Looming, IATSE and AMPTP Enter Critical Weekend of Contract Talks
As contract negotiations between the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) reach a critical final weekend before a strike deadline set by the union, talks continue with conflicting reports on just how far apart the sides are in coming to an agreement. Rest periods and streaming disparity had been the key sticking points earlier in the week that brought IATSE members to the brink of a strike that could shut down productions nationwide, according to a union insider.
The union relates that members can reclaim “personal equipment or equipment that is sub-rented by you. You should plan to do so before leaving work on Friday, October 15 or at the end of your last day of employment prior to Monday, October 18. … Once the strike begins, you should not be wrapping any rental gear or other employer equipment as that is solely part of your work that is struck work.” Those working from home are instructed to notify employers to retrieve employer-provided equipment.
The financial impact on individual members will vary due to factors including their state of residence. According to IATSE’s FAQs, “almost all” states prohibit striking workers from collecting unemployment insurance, including California. Exceptions include New York, where members working under the Basic Agreement or Area Standards Agreement could apply for unemployment benefits after 14 days; and New Jersey, where union workers could apply after 30 days.
Members who are already collecting unemployment benefits remain eligible, according to the FAQs, which also explains that “members may be eligible” should employers impose a lock out.
The impact on an individual’s MPI Plans may also vary. For instance, health care eligibility is based upon hours worked and hours banked.
Any allowances pertaining to dues during a strike will be decided by each Local’s leaders, and the same is true of a potential strike fund, where individual Locals may offer assistance. But IATSE warns, “While there may be some limited help for those most in need, during a strike you can expect to go without pay. You would not be prohibited from taking work outside of the industry in a totally unrelated industry or area.”
Leaders of Largest IATSE Local Recommend Ratifying Controversial Tentative Deal .
Leadership of Local 600, the International Cinematographers Guild, is urging its members to vote “yes” to ratify a tentative agreement between the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and studios. The deal between IATSE and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) was unveiled on Oct. 16 and early details of the […]In a video message to members on Tuesday, Local 600 national executive director Rebecca Rhine asserted that “this is what winning looks like” as president John Lindley said that he would vote “yes” as “this contract will improve the lives of tens of thousands of IA members.