- Advertisement -spot_img
Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Hollywood backstage workers sign new contract

LOS ANGELES. We can say that the people behind the cameras have found their voice.

Late Saturday, the union representing the Hollywood version of workers – cameramen, makeup artists, props makers, decorators, lighting technicians, editors, script coordinators, hairdressers, filmmakers, script assistants – reached preliminary agreement on a new troika. -year contract with film and television studios, according to officials on both sides.

The IATSE union, which stands for the International Alliance for Stage Workers, said its members will go on strike starting Monday, which would halt production at a particularly inopportune time for the entertainment industry.

Studios, which include the likes of Disney, NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia, as well as rebels such as Amazon, Apple, and Netflix, are struggling to make up for lost production time during the coronavirus pandemic. Another closure would empty the content closets dangerously – especially for streaming services, a business that has become critical to the reputation of some companies on Wall Street.

Negotiations The IATSE agreed to the deal after negotiating concessions on several fronts.

Crews will now have a minimum of 54 hours of rest on weekends – for the first time on a par with the actors. (Previously, studios were not required to provide crews with weekend rest time, although they were required to pay overtime.) Crews will also be given a minimum 10 hours rest between leaving the set and being required to return, which IATSE deemed necessary. for personal health, especially since the shooting can usually last up to 18 hours. The proposed contract also includes a salary increase and a commitment by companies to fund the $ 400 million deficit in IATSE’s retirement and health plans without charging premiums or increasing the cost of health insurance.

Studios will also give the crew an extra day off, finally celebrating Martin Luther King’s birthday, which has been a federal holiday since 1983.

“We’ve come to shoulder with some of the richest and most influential entertainment and technology companies in the world,” said Matthew Loeb, president of IATSE, in a statement, calling the deal the “Hollywood end” for the alliance.

Studio spokesman Jarrid Gonzalez confirmed the agreement but did not comment.

IATSE has 150,000 members in the United States and Canada. However, the contract in question only covered about 60,000 people, most of whom were in the Los Angeles area, followed by groups of workers in large states such as Georgia and New Mexico. Most of the remaining 90,000 union members work in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. But they have a different contract, which has not expired yet.

Nonetheless, the solidarity within the IATSE was remarkable, with New Yorkers making it clear on Twitter and Instagram that if a partial strike was called, they would treat it as complete. For their part, 60,000 expired members voted two weeks ago – by a 99 percent margin – to authorize the strike.

Teams have long felt underappreciated in Hollywood, where the hierarchy is not thin. The discontent became more pronounced when the crews returned to the sets after being stopped by the pandemic. As with workers in many professions, downtime has given teams a new perspective on work-life balance. To make matters worse, studios and streaming services began to speed up their content build pipelines to catch up.

Anger escalated to rage in the summer when Ben Gottlieb, a young lighting technician from Brooklyn, opened an Instagram page of horror work-related stories. Since then, more than 1,100 entertainment workers have posted terrifying jokes on the page, with 159,000 followers.

During negotiations, which began in May, Hollywood companies insisted that they were serious about IATSE requirements and were negotiating in good faith. An organization called the Film and Television Producers Alliance is negotiating union contracts for the studio. The organization has been led by Carol Lombardini since 2009 and no entertainment union has gone on strike nationwide during her tenure. She has been with the group since its founding in 1982.

But many studio executives privately hailed IATSE’s aggressive bargaining stance with a shrug, noting that the union has never held a significant strike in its 128-year history. Brigades represented by any trade union have not come out to pickets since the Second World War. At the time, the IATSE was controlled by the Chicago mafia, whose studios bribed it to prevent workers from unrest. (The striking brigades in 1945 were part of the now defunct Conference of Studio Unions.)

Increased studio confidence that IATSE will blink during ongoing negotiations: Work teams have just experienced financial difficulties due to a production shutdown due to a pandemic, and IATSE has no strike fund.

The wake-up calls in Hollywood’s corporate ranks didn’t ring until Wednesday. It was then that Mr. Loeb said in a statement that “the pace of the negotiations does not reflect any sense of urgency,” and set Monday as the date for the strike. On Thursday, ominous comments from the IATSE followed. “If studios want to fight, they kill the wrong bear,” the union said on Twitter. Another union post quoted J.R.R. Tolkien.: “The war should be, while we protect our lives from the destroyer who will consume everything.”

Studios tried to minimize their profits from IATSE for several reasons. Production costs have already risen sharply due to coronavirus safety measures, and longer rest periods and higher wages threaten profitability even more. The costs associated with Covid-19 security protocols could increase the project’s budget by 20 percent, according to manufacturers.

To attract subscribers, streaming services offer prohibitively high salaries to top-rated actors, directors, and producers. This means looking for savings in other areas, including the film crew or what is known in the entertainment industry as “below the line” work.

And the companies were worried about the resonance: the visible contractual benefits for the crews would inevitably give courage to other unions. The Writers Guild of America, the Directors Guild of America and the SAG-AFTRA Actors’ Union are all planning contract negotiations with streaming at their center.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Deskhttps://worldnationnews.com/
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
Latest news
Related news
- Advertisement -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here