IATSE Sets Strike Date, Which Could Shut Down Film And TV Production Nationwide

Hollywood may soon come to a grinding halt if two major organizations cannot reach an agreement. The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) has officially set a strike date, meaning that if an agreement isn't settled on with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) soon, movie and TV production may all but stop entirely in the U.S. This is, to say the very least of it, a huge deal for the industry.

As reported by Variety, Matthew Loeb, president of IATSE, said 60,000 union members will begin a strike on October 18 at 12:01 a.m. if an agreement with the AMPTP is not met. Currently, members of the union are demanding better working conditions, and the battle has been going on for weeks, with things heating up recently when the group widely voted in favor of a possible strike. The situation is complicated, and those interested in learning more about the ins and outs would do well to click this link. The main point is, if these two huge Hollywood groups can't come to terms — and soon — the movie/TV business is effectively going to be shut down. Loeb said the following:

"The pace of bargaining doesn't reflect any sense of urgency. Without an end date, we could keep talking forever. Our members deserve to have their basic needs addressed now."

What an IATSE Strike Would Mean

The IATSE is, in essence, everyone who works on a film set that isn't a director, actor, screenwriter, producer, or teamster. That being the case, it's easy to understand why a strike would be downright catastrophic for productions. The strike was recently authorized with a stunning 98.7 percent approval from the union members, with 90 percent voter turnout.

This all ties into what was once called new media, namely streaming services, and working conditions that were considered acceptable before those companies became the dominant force in Hollywood. The union is asking for better pay, better hours, and safer working conditions. Specifically, they want a 10-hour turnaround between shifts for all workers, in addition to a 54-hour turnaround on weekends. They are also requesting an increased meal penalty, which is a way to try and get productions to actually stop for lunch.

Negotiations with AMPTP, a major group representing the largest film and TV producers in the country, have been ongoing. However, as evidenced by Loeb's comments, the urgency is not there. If a deal can't be reached in the next handful of days, we could be seeing the biggest strike in Hollywood since the writer's strike in 2008, though this has the potential to be more wide-reaching, as the IATSE is a whole lot more than just writers.

We will be sure to keep you up to date as the situation unfolds.