Hollywood Union IATSE Reaches Deal With Studios to Avoid Strike

Silhouette of working people or production film crew are making (Credit: Deposit Photos)

IATSE, the union representing 60,000 film and television workers, has reached a deal with Hollywood studios to avoid a crippling strike.

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) agreed to a three-year contract on Saturday for West Coast production workers.

“This is a Hollywood ending,” IATSE President Matthew Loeb said in a statement. “Our members stood firm. We are tough and united.”

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The AMPTP is a powerful trade association that represents companies including Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Apple, Netflix, and Amazon, yet Loeb said the union stood firm.

“We went toe to toe with some of the richest and most powerful entertainment and tech companies in the world, and we have now reached an agreement with the AMPTP that meets our members’ needs,” he stated.

AMPTP spokesman Jarryd Gonzales confirmed an agreement had been reached.

Per IATSE, the terms of the deal include: 10-hour “turnaround” times between shifts; weekend rest periods of 54 hours; retroactive 3 percent pay increases; increased penalties for missed meal breaks; a “living wage” for the lowest-paid workers; Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday added to the schedule; and adoption of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

The agreement came after days of marathon talks, but IATSE members still must vote to approve the tentative contract.

A strike would have halted filming in Los Angeles and affected productions as far away as New York.

IATSE has 36 local chapters of film and TV workers across the country, including 13 on the West Coast. The union represents “below the line” workers, including cinematographers, camera operators, costumers, hair and makeup artists, set carpenters, animators, and more.

Union members voted over the weekend of Oct. 1-3 to authorize a strike if there was no agreement between the two sides. A total of 98.6 percent of the vote was in support of authorizing a strike.

On Oct. 13, the union set a nationwide strike deadline for Monday, Oct. 18 at 12:01 a.m.

IATSE said in its statement Saturday it’s still negotiating to improve working conditions for members of local chapters in New Mexico, New York, Illinois, Georgia and Louisiana.