Monday strike deadline looms for 60,000 behind-the-scenes film and TV workers

iStock/Getty Images
Photo credit iStock/Getty Images

HOLLYWOOD (CNS) — With a strike deadline of 12:01 a.m. Monday looming, a contract dispute remained unresolved today between the union representing some 60,000 behind-the-scenes film and television workers nationwide and negotiators representing producers.

The union—the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees International (IATSE)—set the strike deadline on Wednesday, putting pressure on producers to get a deal done and avoid a mass production shutdown that could cripple an entertainment industry already struggling to recover from the COVID- 19 pandemic.

While IATSE President Matthew Loeb said earlier this week that talks were ongoing with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), he added, "the pace of bargaining doesn't reflect any sense of urgency"—the reason the union set the Monday deadline.

"Without an end date, we could keep talking forever," Loeb said Wednesday. "Our members deserve to have their basic needs addressed now."

Neither side immediately responded Friday to inquiries about the status of the talks, or any progress that might have been made.

IATSE is calling for a labor contract that addresses core issues such as reasonable rest periods, meal breaks and a living wage for those on the bottom of the salary scale.

Issues concerning revenue growing out of streaming and other "new media" are also on the table.

A walkout would be the first in the union's 128-year history.

"We are fighting to ensure that the most powerful media corporations on the planet treat the film and tv workers who produce their content with basic human dignity," the union said in its most recent Twitter post.

IATSE members work in TV and film production at 36 local unions across the country, including 13 on the West Coast.