Studios And TV & Film Workers Reach Tentative Deal To Avoid Strike

Oscar statuettes are displayed at Times Square Studios 23 January 2006 in New York. The statuettes will be presented to winners of the 78th Academy Awards 05 March 2006 in Hollywood.

Film and TV workers won’t go on strike after all following a last-minute deal with major studios over working conditions. The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers (AMPTP) have been going back and forth on a deal to avoid a strike since May.

They hit an impasse in September and negotiating stopped, and on Oct. 3 the IATSE authorized a strike, with 98 per cent support from the group. The strike was set for Oct. 18 at midnight, and it would mark the first strike in the 128-year-history of the organization.

The IATSE was asking for a few different things: higher wages for lower positions, longer turnaround between working days, specific meal times, an update to health and pension plans and more money from streaming shows.

The actual details of the settlement are still being confirmed, but they reportedly include better pay, 10 hours of turnaround time, 54-hour turnaround on weekends, more money to health and pension plans, plans for diversity inclusions, a holiday on MLK Day and other changes. Notably missing is anything about streaming profits or how much to pay the lowest level workers.

IATSE President Matthew Lowb said “This is a Hollywood ending. Our members stood firm. They’re tough and united. 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. Solidarity is more than a word. It’s the way to get things done.”

While the deal prevents a strike in the immediate future, it’s important to note that the contract still needs to be ratified and that potentially won’t happen in months. If the IATSE votes no on it, then the possibility of a strike returns.

A strike would have large-scale consequences in the film industry and shut down a number of productions, causing ripple effects for the foreseeable future.