TV and Film Production Workers Go on Strike for Better Conditions

In Summary

About 60,000 production workers have voted nearly unanimously to go on strike as they try to get better working conditions and larger profits from streaming productions.  

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees voted nearly unanimously to go on strike.  

According to the union, the 60,000 members who work in television and film production conducted the vote on Monday. This is the first time in its history that it has gone on strike.  

The union’s president Matthew Loeb said the members have communicated their desires. “The members have spoken loud and clear,” he said. “This vote is about the quality of life as well as 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 a weekend. For those at the bottom of the pay scale, they deserve nothing less than a living wage.”  

Last week, the union called for the vote after four months of talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers resulted in no change. It had been fighting for several key issues, including higher pay, larger contributions to health and pension plans, improved rest periods, meal breaks and larger profits from streaming projects, the Los Angeles Times reported.  

Loeb hopes to reach an agreement but says it needs to focus on the union’s priority issues. “We really have four points that are hanging [out] there, and a few other issues that I think will be dealt with, but you’re talking about meals and breaks during the day; rest periods between shifts and on the weekends; a living wage for the lowest-paid people; and some appropriate adjustments to new media [streaming] based on its maturity,” he told the LA Times. “The rest periods and the quality of life issues, including the meals and the breaks, are clearly getting a lot of momentum, but I would not diminish the importance of the other issues I mentioned—they are all priorities.” 

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