Today, 60,000 members of The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) who are scattered nationwide passed a landslide vote to approve a strike that will be issued by IATSE President Matthew Loeb. In the alliance’s 128-year history, this is the first time ever a strike has been authorized. The alliance is demanding higher pay, more breaks, a higher percentage of profits and better health plans.
The ballots were issued on October 1 and concluded at the end of the evening (11:59 p.m.) on October 3. The alliance used a company called Honest Ballot to have alliance members cast their votes for the 72 hours it was available.
According to the official IATSE website:
“In the 13 West Coast local unions, where members work under the Basic Agreement, it was required that 75 percent of members voting in each local union approve the strike vote for that local union to authorize a strike. The same conditions applied to the 23 locals across the nation located in production hubs including Georgia, Louisiana, Illinois, and New Mexico operating under the Area Standards Agreement. That threshold was exceeded in all 36 local unions with none reporting less than 96 percent voting to authorize a strike.”
Matthew Loeb predicted this landslide vote to pass during an interview that was published by The Los Angeles Times on September 30. This is Matthew’s 13th year as president and after four months of continuous conversations, it was time for the members to be heard in a vote.
According to The Los Angeles Times, Matthew stated:
“We’re in a campaign to turn people out to vote and to convince them to vote in favor of the strike authorization. I would say to them it’s about their lives and their quality of life and the quality of life for those people that work with them, and it’s time to take a stand. It’s been going on since mid-May, which is a long time to bargain, historically, for us.”
For Disney Parks employees who are a part of IATSE, this strike will not apply to them, as local IATSE officials have confirmed that Disney theme park Cast Members will not be going on strikes. However, this will have a major effect on upcoming productions in Hollywood and nationwide. Over 150,000 workers in entertainment, media, and the arts are part of the IATSE. As we previously reported, this strike is mainly going to affect the workers of the Los Angeles area but with productions taking place in areas such as New York, Atlanta and international locations, it will be able to reach far and wide. Possible effects of this strike could be production on certain projects being halted until studios, executives and workers are able to come to a mutual agreement.
At this time, Disney has not released an official statement regarding the strike.
Stay tuned for more information on this developing story.