Loeb said the union “will continue bargaining with the producers this week in the hopes of reaching an agreement that addresses core issues, such as reasonable rest periods, meal breaks, and a living wage for those on the bottom of the wage scale.”
He noted, however, that “the pace of bargaining doesn’t reflect any sense of urgency,” and that “without an end date, we could keep talking forever. Our members deserve to have their basic needs addressed now.”
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers issued a statement Wednesday in response to IATSE’s strike date, saying, “There are five whole days left to reach a deal, and the studios will continue to negotiate in good faith in an effort to reach an agreement for a new contract that will keep the industry working.”
According to a text that was circulating among IATSE members this week: “Local IA leadership just got out of a meeting with Loeb. Tomorrow mid afternoon eastern time he is going to make an announcement that AMPTP has until Monday 18th at 12:01 am to make us a better offer. Leadership advised me to tell members to get your kits tidy this week. Be prepared to work on Monday but also be prepared to picket/walk off”.
The union also has started a “strike clock” that you can see here.
A strike, if it comes to that, would start at 12:01 a.m. PDT on Oct. 18.
The union’s members voted overwhelmingly last week to give Loeb the authority to call a strike if contract talks didn’t result in a new contract for 60,000 film and television workers. Voter turnout was 90%, with 98.6% of those voting in support of authorizing a strike.
Leaders of the International Cinematographers Guild, IATSE Local 600, told members Wednesday that “we now are at a crossroads” because the companies have “steadfastly refused to acknowledge even the most basic protections we require.
“For more than five months, we have bargained in good faith to get a deal with the employers that would provide our members with safer working conditions, fair wages and sustainable benefits,” Local 600 president John Lindley and national executive director Rebecca Rhine told their members shortly after Loeb set the strike date. “We have presented data on unsafe hours and inadequate rest periods, as well as lack of meal breaks. We have joined 12 other Locals in the fight for a living wage, sustainable benefits and ‘New Media’ rates that reflect the success of the streaming companies.
“Despite all our efforts to make our positions clear to the employers, they have steadfastly refused to acknowledge even the most basic protections we require. Our greatest value is our labor, and withholding our labor is our greatest weapon, one that our union has never used before in negotiations related to a national contract. We are reasonable people, but we have been abused and now we are at a crossroads. Down one path lies the status quo, which is inhumane and unsustainable. The other choice leads to an unknown outcome, but it is the only possible way to making overdue changes, and that is the way forward.
“Our goal was always to negotiate a fair deal, but we all understood that a strike was a possibility. The will of our members to achieve that deal became crystal clear after 99.2% of our eligible members who voted supported a strike authorization. A strike is now a reality, unless the employers use the limited time remaining to make proposals that recognize the worth of the human beings that power this industry with their bodies and hearts.”
The outstanding issues, they said, are wages, including living wages; meal breaks; weekend rest periods; pension hours required for a qualified year; terms and conditions for New Media, and sustainable benefits.
“For a strike to succeed,” they said, “we will need to work as hard for ourselves and our future as we are used to working for our employers and their projects. If we strike, we will be picketing studios and job sites and doing our best to stop production everywhere. Our goal is to get a better deal that will return us to our work. We will lock arms and stand together for as long as that takes.”