The major entertainment unions issued a joint statement of solidarity with the International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees on Friday, as the craft union looks towards a strike authorization vote next week.
The statement was signed by the heads of SAG-AFTRA, the Directors Guild of America, the Writers Guild of America, East, and the Teamsters.
“On behalf of our hundreds of thousands of members working across film and television, we stand in solidarity with our I.A.T.S.E. brothers, sisters and kin,” the labor leaders said in the statement. “The basic quality of life and living wage rights they’re fighting for in their negotiations are the issues that impact all of us who work on sets and productions. We stand with the I.A.T.S.E.”
Talks between IATSE and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have broken down. The union seeks improvements on meal and rest periods, longer turnarounds between production days, and improved rates on streaming projects.
The 13 West Coast IATSE locals — which represent most below-the-line workers — are set to vote on a strike authorization starting on Oct. 1. The results will be announced Oct. 4. The vote is seen as a way to give IATSE negotiators more leverage at the bargaining table, and does not mean that a strike is necessarily imminent.
But the union, which tends to quietly ratify contract amendments every three years, is making a much more public and aggressive stand this time around. If the vote is approved, IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb would have the power to call a strike, ordering 60,000 workers off the job from coast to coast.
The joint statement of support was signed by Lesli Linka Glatter, the DGA president; Russell Hollander, the DGA national executive director; Fran Drescher, the SAG-AFTRA president; Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the SAG-AFTRA national executive director; James P. Hoffa, the general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters; Michael Winship, the president of WGA East; and Lowell Peterson, the executive director of WGA East.
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