IATSE, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, recently came to a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), adverting a scheduled strike for this upcoming October 18th. IATSE is a union representing about 60,000 crew members including hairstylists, costumers, gaffers, propmakers, cameraworkers and other behind-the-scenes jobs on set. The union had been negotiating pay, work schedules and more with AMPTP, an organization that represents companies such as Netflix, Warner Bros, Universal Pictures and Paramount Pictures, since May.
Prior to the tentative agreement, IATSE President Matthew Loeb said in a statement posted on Twitter: “We will continue bargaining with the producers this week in the hopes of reaching an agreement that addresses core issues, such as reasonable rest periods, meal breaks and a living wage for those on the bottom of the wage scale”
If the strike had occurred it would’ve been the first time Hollywood’s Behind-The-Scenes workers had held a strike since World War II and would represent the largest cease Hollywood’s workforce since a 14-week writers’ strike in 2007.
According to IATSE, the 3-Year contractual agreement with AMPTP includes living wages for the lowest paid workers, higher wages, daily 10 hour rest periods and weekend 54 hour long rest periods along with other basic benefits. Prior to this, streaming TV and film productions featured lower pay scales for workers which reflected budgets at the beginning of the medium and platforms. However, streaming is now a very large chunk of the market and worker’s felt their wages should reflect that. The increased production and volume of streaming entertainment had also made for grueling, “around-the-clock” and “around-the-calendar” (Sutton, 2021) working conditions.
Overall, this situation between IATSE and AMPTP reflect the truth behind what is going on behind the scenes of the public’s favorite shows and streaming platforms. It also reflects streaming as medium that is here to stay and in need of regulation for it’s workers.
Del Barco, Mandalit. “Hollywood crew members reach a tentative deal with major studios, averting a strike” NPR, 16, October, 2021. https://www.npr.org/2021/10/16/1045711954/hollywood-crew-members-iatse-reach-deal-no-strike
Sutton, Kelsey. “TV, Film Workers Set Oct. 18 Strike Date as Negotiations With Studios Stall” AdWeek, 14, October, 2021. https://www.adweek.com/convergent-tv/tv-film-workers-set-oct-18-strike-date-as-negotiations-with-studios-stall/