Film and Television Workers Vote to Strike In Hopes of Better Pay and Conditions

Production Workers Strike Likely if Demands Not Met


Earlier this week, the members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, voted to authorize a strike if their demands regarding pay and break times were not met. The IATSE, as the organization is known, is a union for production staff, including camera operators, prop makers, make-up artists and other “behind the scenes” staff on the set of a television show or film. The union is in contract negotiations with the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers); however, this negotiation has been ongoing since early summer, with no satisfaction to the IATSE members.

The focal argument from union members is one of scheduling and pay. Complaints of workdays which lasted for more than twelve hours with few breaks if any, including a lunch break, as well as pay rates lower than eighteen dollars per hour lead to the vote to authorize a strike. Union members hold that their workdays are long and strenuous, often in “miserable working conditions.” Production employees state they simply want adequate pay for their work, and they want time off to recoup between filming. Some members state even a weekend off would be welcomed during grueling filming schedules.

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