Hollywood crews set Monday deadline for new deal, threaten strike
'Without an end date, we could keep talking forever,' says union President Matthew Loeb
Major studios have until Monday to reach an agreement with the union that represents a wide swathe of television and film workers, the union announced on Wednesday.
Should a deal not be reached, the union's 150,000 workers in the US and Canada will stage a strike that will bring the industry to a standstill. Negotiations with producers that have been going on for months will continue this week, said International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) President Matthew Loeb.
“However, the pace of bargaining doesn’t reflect any sense of urgency,” said Loeb. “Without an end date, we could keep talking forever. Our members deserve to have their basic needs addressed now.”
Talks are seeking to address what the union is calling "core issues," including rest and meal breaks, and a "living wage" for individuals at the bottom of the wage scale.
A deal must be reached by the weekend to avert a potential strike, the union added on Twitter. The IATSE represents a broad group of industry workers, from makeup artists to craftspersons and studio grips and costume designers.
It conducted an internal vote last week to determine whether a strike should be taken with nearly all, or 99%, of voters approving the measure, according to the IATSE. Nearly all eligible members participated.
The studios, meanwhile, sought to emphasize that there is still time to reach an agreement.
"There are five whole 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," Jarryd Gonzales, a spokesman for the studios, said in a statement.
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