International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees members, the people responsible for running the operations and production of movies and television shows, will go on strike next week if a deal with studios and production companies cannot be reached, the Associated Press reports.
IATSE members will step off the job on Monday, which will grind production for shows and films to a halt from Hollywood to Georgia. The union represents 150,000 technical and support workers in the United States and Canada.
Affecting 60,000 workers currently working under contracts, the strike revolves around increasing pay; lengthening on-set rest and meal breaks for workers; and improving on-set safety. The on-set crew includes include cinematographers, camera operators, set designers, carpenters, hair and makeup artists, animators and many others.
With films and television shows coming back into production after pandemic shutdowns, the union members are being pushed to work longer hours with shorter breaks and shorter rest periods between shifts.
“We’ve continued to try and impress upon the employers the importance of our priorities, the fact that this is about human beings, and the working conditions are about dignity and health and safety at work,” said Rebecca Rhine, national executive director of the Cinematographers Guild, IATSE Local 600. “The health and safety issues, the unsafe hours, the not breaking for meals, those were the exception for many years in the industry, which is a tough industry. But what they’ve become is the norm.”