The union president of the International Alliance of Theater Workers, Matthew Loeb, announced the results on Monday.
“The members have spoken loud and clear,” said Loeb. “This vote is about the quality of life and the health and safety of those who work in the film and television industry. Our people have basic human needs like time for meal breaks, adequate sleep and adequate sleep. weekend. low on the pay scale, they deserve nothing less than a living wage. “
The union said the results were achieved “by an almost unanimous margin,” with nearly 90% voter turnout. This is the first time in IATSE’s 128-year history that union members have authorized a nationwide strike, according to IATSE.
The union was in talks with the producer group, the Alliance of Motion Picture Television Producers (AMPTP), advocating for higher wages, improvements to filming conditions (including longer breaks and meal breaks) and larger contributions to health and pension benefits. Those talks were halted last week after the groups failed to come to an agreement.
“AMPTP remains committed to reaching an agreement that will allow the industry to continue to operate,” the group said in a statement. “We deeply appreciate our IATSE crew members and are committed to working with them to avoid shutting down the industry at such a crucial time, especially as the industry is still recovering from the economic fallout from the COVID pandemic. -19. ”
He added: “An agreement can be reached at the negotiating table, but it will take both sides to work together in good faith with a willingness to compromise and explore new solutions to resolve outstanding issues.”
IATSE is expected to resume negotiations, but said it will do so with the hopes that the studios “will see and understand the determination of our members,” Loeb said.
“The ball is in their court. If they want to avoid a strike, they will return to the bargaining table and make us a reasonable offer,” he said.
“They talked about power, not reason, so my reading is that if they see the strike authorization passed, then maybe they will come to their senses and to the negotiating table,” a- he declared. “But if it’s about power, it’s a problem.”