TV | October 5, 2021 1:43 pm

What Does a Potential Hollywood Production Crew Strike Mean for Your Favorite Shows?

IATSE members voted to authorize a strike over the weekend

Crystal Kan, a storyboard artist, draws pro-labor signs on cars of union members during a rally at the Motion Picture Editors Guild IATSE Local 700 on Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021 in Los Angeles.
Crystal Kan, a storyboard artist, draws pro-labor signs on cars of union members during a rally at the Motion Picture Editors Guild IATSE Local 700 on Sept. 26 in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag

If your favorite TV show is currently in-between seasons, you could be in for a longer-than-usual wait until you get your next fix. As The Guardian reports, 99% of the registered members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) who participated in a vote over the weekend — or 52,706 people — have voted in support of a strike.

The labor union, which consists of craftspeople, technicians and other behind-the-scenes crew members who work on TV and film productions, is fighting for better working conditions on projects for streaming services like Netflix, Apple and Amazon. They’re fighting for “better pay, reasonable rest periods, safer hours and guaranteed meal breaks.”

“I hope the studios will see and understand the resolve of our members,” IATSE president Matthew Loeb said in a statement. “The ball is in their court. If they want to avoid a strike, they will return to the bargaining table and make us a reasonable offer.”

The alliance’s most recent three-year contract expired in July, and since then they’ve been trying to negotiate a new one with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents studios and streamers. IATSE said it is “incomprehensible that the AMPTP, an ensemble that includes media mega-corporations collectively worth trillions of dollars, claims it cannot provide behind-the-scenes crews with basic human necessities like adequate sleep, meal breaks and living wages.”

Now that they’ve voted to authorize a strike, what does that mean for TV and film production? Nothing good. The show can’t go on without these crews, and we could be facing a Hollywood work stoppage similar to the Writers Guild of America strike in 2007 and 2008, which lasted 100 days and brought many productions to a standstill.

Still, AMPTP seems hopeful that the two sides can reach a deal that would keep the industry working — something that is especially important as it looks to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A deal can be made at the bargaining table but it will require both parties working together in good faith with a willingness to compromise and to explore new solutions to resolve the open issues,” the group said in a statement.