SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — After threatening to strike, film crew members will vote late next week on whether to ratify a three-year contract that outlines its wages, benefits and overall treatment from productions.
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) will vote Friday, Nov. 12, on the proposed Area Standards Agreement (ASA). The 49-page revised contract would increase wages by at least 3% each year, penalize productions for working through meals, enforce 10-hour turnarounds, and lengthen time off over the weekends. Already the terms of the renegotiated agreement have been met with some criticism from workers who believe it falls short when it comes to health plans and residuals.
However, a vote to not ratify would return negotiators of IATSE and the representative of major TV and film companies back to the bargaining table. The threat of a strike still looms as a last-resort option neither party desires.
On the West Coast, film crew workers will vote on a similar contract called the Basic Agreement. Together, both contracts cover approximately 60,000 film and TV workers across the U.S. There are 13 local unions on the West Coast voting on the Basic Agreement and 23 local unions throughout the rest of the U.S., including the IATSE Local 491 in Wilmington, voting on the ASA.
IATSE members cast ballots online starting Nov. 12, similarly to how they cast the strike authorization vote in early October. The results will be shared Monday, Nov. 15.
The strike authorization vote passed overwhelmingly, with almost all members participating and nearly all agreeing to give the IATSE president power to call a work stoppage. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) quickly agreed to resume bargaining after the vote, which had beforehand been at an impasse.
The film workers union called off the strike after negotiations wrapped on the Basic Agreement on Oct. 16. It was just days before picketing was expected to commence.
This is the first time in the union’s history that members under the ASA will have a say in finalizing the contract.