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Hollywood on Strike

Film and television workers are demanding living wages and longer rest periods.

Written by: Riley Roliff

Unemployment insurance during the pandemic allowed workers in several industries to experience life free from overwork. Now that businesses are starting to gear back up, workers are standing up for themselves. In what was deemed “Striketober,” workers in various industries have been withholding or threatening to withhold their labor as they protest for better working conditions. One such industry is the U.S. film and television industry. In early October, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), a labor union representing over 60,000 workers in the film and television industry, voted nearly unanimously in favor of giving President Matthew Loeb the authorization to call for a strike if he felt negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), a group representing corporations such as Amazon, Netflix, Hulu and Apple, were ineffective. The workers are calling for living wages and adequate rest periods between shifts.

In mid-November, the IATSE membership voted on a contract agreement. The contract narrowly lost the popular vote but won a majority of delegates, allowing it to be ratified. The new contract institutes a 3% annual wage increase as well as a minimum 10-hour turnaround time between shifts. It also created penalties for producers who make crew members work through their lunch break.


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