Union Authorized to Strike, What Will Hollywood Do?

A union representing 150,000 film industry workers was authorized by its members to launch a strike against the film industry. Contract talks continue, but the potential ramifications are scaring the film industry on the heels of the negative effects of the pandemic.

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees reported that 98.6 percent of eligible employees voted to authorize a strike. These workers include camera operators, makeup artists, costume designers, set builders, and more behind the scenes roles.

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What is Behind the Union Strike?

IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) is proposing its very first strike. The organization reports that it is doing it for the well being of its members seeking better wages, longer break periods, and better scheduled meal breaks.

According to the New York Times, the halt that the pandemic imposed upon television production, companies like Netflix and Disney are trying to make up for lost time, pushing their workers to work harder and longer to complete delayed projects.

The proposed action by IATSE and an overwhelming majority of its members is surprising, but not unexpected. The pandemic has delayed contract negotiations, with many workers operating without industry contract. 

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Has This Hollywood Strike Had Any Effects Yet? 

The vote authorizing the union strike has the industry taking note of its potential implications. 

Per the New York Times, Congress and the United States Senate became involved as well, notifying the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television that the economy would be endangered if an agreement of a fair contract is not reached. 

The most immediate effect of the strike would be felt by TV production affecting networks and streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, and other studios. If the IATSE calls for its members to strike, television and film production could be halted until there is a meeting of the minds between the workers and executives. 

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