About 60,000 workers in the film and television industry will go on strike next week if major Hollywood studios do not offer them a satisfactory contract by then, the workers’ union said on Wednesday.
Matthew Loeb, president of the International Alliance of Theater Workers, Film Technicians, Artists and Craftsmen (IATSE), announced that she had set a strike deadline for Monday morning, increasing pressure on representatives of industry to reach an agreement in the coming days. .
If workers step down, it will be the largest U.S. private sector strike in 14 years, halting production in Hollywood and satellite movie cities like Atlanta and Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Loeb said in a statement that the negotiations so far had “no sense of urgency.”
“Without an end date, we could go on talking forever. Our members deserve to have their basic needs met now, ”he added.
Workers say they want a number of issues addressed by the industry group representing the studios, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. They want to see significant pay increases at the bottom of the pay scale, better pay for workers on streaming projects, and stronger guarantees on breaks and time off between shifts.
Several workers said in interviews that the grueling hours made it difficult to spend time with their families. Cheli Clayton Samaras told HuffPost that she is often so sleep deprived that she worries she could crash her car on the way home after a 14-hour day. “It’s a recipe for disaster,” she said.
The workers represented by IATSE are known as “below the line” teams because their names fall under the big names of actors, writers and producers on budget sheets. Union members work as costume designers, cinematographers, editors, production and script coordinators and other behind-the-scenes staff.
The frustration of the workers was evident in their vote to authorize a strike. The IATSE said about 90% of its 60,000 workers took part in the vote and that 98.6% approved of the union leadership declaring a strike if necessary.