As expected, the members of the IATSE union voted last Monday to authorize a strike if their negotiations with Hollywood’s studios break down. An overwhelming majority of the rank-and-file supported the action, with almost 99% of its 52,000 members approving a strike if necessary. IATSE’s members are essential to film and television production in Hollywood, spanning all the key trades from cinematographers, operators, grips, editors, costumers and writers assistants, and many others.
The two key issues in the negotiation are to secure an increase in compensation and limits on excessive work schedules, which has become a flashpoint for many members. In some cases, production crews have been asked to work on the set for 14 or more hours, leading to unsafe conditions and an unsustainable work-life balance. For a period during the pandemic, safety concerns led to production schedules being limited to no more than 10-hour workdays, and the experience has led to members being more united than ever on this issue, giving union leadership increased leverage in their negotiations.
See also: The Film Industry Wants to Keep the Status Quo? Then Shut It Down (New York Times)