Hollywood workers threaten strike, could halt TV and movie production

Entertainment

(NewsNation Now) — Members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees were preparing for a strike authorization vote Friday that could bring most production in Hollywood to a halt.

“We work minimum 12-hour days,” said Ray Brown, a member of IATSE. “It often goes 14, 15, 18 hours a day.”

Negotiations have been underway for months between IASTE and The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The union, which represents 150,000 production workers, wants better working conditions including guaranteed breaks and a cap on hours.  

“A crew making these movies and television shows want to create new programming for consumers to watch, not to walk picket lines,” said IATSE Local 491 Business Agent Darla McGlamery. “Unfortunately, we’ve been given little choice by our employers, who have refused to consider our needs and our requests.”

Binge-watching has brought a big boost in productions this year, adding to crew demands already stretched thin in the film industry.

If the strike goes through, it would be a first of its kind. The strike could also pose an economic ripple effect across the country since productions are underway everywhere, including upstate New York.  

“They not only need hotel rooms, but they’ll frequent the bars and the restaurants, said Deb Goedeke, Albany County film commissioner. “They may need catering companies.”

On social media, many celebrities are expressing overwhelming support for the union.

“Our films and movies literally would not exist without our crews, and our crews deserve better,” Seth Rogen wrote on Twitter.

Members have three days to vote, with results expected Monday. At least 75% yes votes would be required for strike authorization.

Movie producers have expressed a commitment to reaching an agreement.

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