Hollywood workers reach agreement with studios, averting strike

The film and television industry narrowly avoided a shutdown of production on Saturday evening after the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees reached a last-minute, tentative agreement with studios and streaming services over worker demands.

IATSE leaders had been in talks for weeks with the organization representing studios and streaming services, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. IATSE leaders had set a strike deadline of 12:01 a.m. PT on Monday.

The agreement reached Saturday covers some 40,000 film and television workers who are members of 13 local IATSE unions on the West Coast. Under the new contract, which must still be ratified by workers, IATSE members will see boosted pay on streaming-service productions and a reduction in the amount of time members work without a break, among other changes.

“This is a Hollywood ending,” said IATSE International President Matthew Loeb. “We went toe to toe with some of the richest and most powerful entertainment and tech companies in the world.”

A spokesperson for the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers confirmed the agreement.

Studio workers employed at companies including Netflix Inc. and Apple Inc. said they were paid less than their fair share. Others cited long hours that are considered part of the job and few bathroom breaks allowed during long days on the set.

Studios and streaming services are stepping up production after more than 18 months of delays and cancellations brought on by Covid-19.

The deal avoids what would have been a shutdown of productions around the world involving thousands of editors, prop artists and other crew workers. A-list actors and other Hollywood unions voiced their support for IATSE members in recent weeks.

IATSE members called attention to the unglamorous aspects of working in Hollywood and put a spotlight on the streaming services whose success has fueled a surge in production. The crew workers joined employees in other industries who have emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic with demands from employers on pay and working conditions.

Deere & Co. workers earlier this month went on strike for the first time in 35 years, joining thousands of workers currently on strike or returning to work after a strike at such companies as Kellogg Co. and Mondelez International Inc.

In Los Angeles, cars could be spotted with IATSE slogans written on their windows. An Instagram account took off with submitted stories of long hours, few breaks and disproportionate compensation.

Earlier this month, an overwhelming majority of members voted to give leaders strike-authorization powers.


This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text

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