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IATSE films strike looming, deadline set for Monday

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The IATSE announced that 60,000 workers would go on strike Monday at 12:01 a.m.PT if the terms were not met with the Alliance of Film and Television Producers. (Port City Daily / Mark Darrough)

After more than a week of negotiations with the Alliance of Film and Television Producers (AMPTP), the film and television union International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) has set a deadline for its workers to meet. withdraw from current projects.

According to IATSE President Matthew Loeb, around 60,000 union members will be without a paycheck starting Monday, Oct. 18 at 12:01 a.m. PT, unless negotiations are settled for better working conditions. work and pay.

READ MORE: Catching up on all film coverage, including reporting on IATSE strikes

Union members from 36 sections nationwide voted in favor of the strike last week, with 90% participation approving its authorization and more than 98% in favor of granting Loeb the power to trigger the strike. strike. Loeb said in a press release that the team continues to work with AMPTP producers to address fundamental issues affecting its 150,000 technicians, artisans and craftspeople in the entertainment industry.

Topping the list are better wages, especially for minimum wage workers, meal breaks and longer breaks between weekend shoots, as well as the renegotiation of contracts for streamers who received a “discount.” Over a decade ago when they first started, but now represent a lot of content. According to Nielsen ratings, 27% of content is broadcast in July 2021, or over 23% of broadcast (cable still tops out at 40%).

Variety reported AMPTP last week agreed to some demands, including guaranteeing workers at least 10-hour breaks between shifts, weekend leave, as well as compensation for crews if meal breaks are required. missed. Progress has also been made on streaming contracts. Still, Loeb said in a press release that a definite timetable was needed for the negotiations, because “the pace of the negotiations does not reflect any sense of urgency.”

Without an end date, we could keep talking forever, ”he added. “Our members deserve to have their basic needs met now.

The IATSE is the oldest entertainment union in the country and the strike will be the first of its kind in more than 125 years. If the strike occurs, a huge amount of artistic content being created will come to a halt. Locally, several projects are underway in Wilmington, such as Amazon’s “The Summer I Turned Pretty”, Fox’s “Our Kind of People” and Netflix’s “Florida Man” and “Echoes”, as well as the independent film “Breakwater. “.

“Our people have basic human needs, like time for meal breaks, adequate sleep and a weekend,” Loeb said in a previous press release.

IATSE stands for gaffers, pliers, casts and other employees below the line. The union covers television, film, Broadway, concerts, trade shows and more behind-the-scenes entertainment workers, though ongoing negotiations primarily affect the film industry.

We deeply value our IATSE crew members and we are committed to working with them to avoid shutting down the industry at such a crucial time, ”wrote Jarryd Gonzales, spokesperson for AMPTP, in an email. last week, “especially since the industry is still recovering from the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. “

Wilmington has seen a slight uptick in productions locally since the summer of 2020, when “Scream” (see trailer here) set up at Screen Gems / EUE Studios as one of Paramount’s first productions since the industry was shut down by the pandemic. Since then, several films and television series have settled in town, including “The Black Phone” (see trailer here) and “Hightown” by STARZ (see trailer here). The industry’s economic impact makes 2021 one of North Carolina’s best years to date, exceeding $ 400 million.


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