Matthew Loeb, president of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), is giving Hollywood studios a do-or-die deadline of Monday Oct. 18 at 12:01 a.m. to reach an agreement with 60,000 union members or face a nationwide strike.
The ultimatum ratchets up pressure on film and television studios to get a deal done or face one of the biggest shutdown in industry history.
IATSE first authorized the motion in early October, voting in favor of the strike authorization with a whopping 98.7 percent support with equally impressive 90 percent turnout.
“The pace of bargaining doesn’t reflect any sense of urgency,” Loeb said. “Without an end date, we could keep talking forever. Our members deserve to have their basic needs addressed now.”
The various union locals are seeking to address long-standing concerns, including long hours on set, streaming wage scales and residuals, and the stability of the pension and health funds.
Contract talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents the studios, have been ongoing since May.
An AMPTP spokesman said in a statement that the studios will stay at the bargaining table in hopes of avoiding a strike. “There are five 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,” the spokesman said.