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A week after the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees returned to the bargaining table to hammer out a new three-year Basic Agreement following a strike authorization vote, Local 700 national executive director Cathy Repola warned Tuesday that “the pace of negotiations does not reflect the urgency of the situation.”
In an email to members of the Motion Picture Editors Guild, Repola wrote: “The employers repeatedly refuse to do what it will take to achieve a fair deal. Either they don’t recognize what has changed in our industry and among our members or they don’t care. Or both.”
The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to the AMPTP for comment.
On Oct. 4, IATSE announced that more than 98 percent of eligible union members voted to authorize a strike should it be deemed the best course of action with negotiations at an impasse. Repola wrote in her Tuesday email: “On Friday night we told you ‘days not weeks’ and that is still the case. It is more important than ever to stay in touch and stay connected with each other in IASolidarity as the pace quickens and we move forward.”
The current situation follows months of failed negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers to create a new Basic Agreement for 13 Locals, of which the largest are Local 600 (International Cinematographers Guild) and Local 700. The groups’ Basic Agreement, Area Standards Agreement and Videotape Agreement, all of which have expired, represent roughly 60,000 entertainment workers.
Last weekend, several groups of union members gathered to create signs for picketing, should IATSE international president Matthew D. Loeb call a strike.
In recent weeks, the union and its members have highlighted sticking points in the talks, which include establishing adequate rest and meal periods, higher minimum rates for certain crafts, more compensation from streaming and “new media” projects, and funding for its pension and health plan.
“This fight is being waged across the country as other unions also focus on decent wages, health and safety and humane working conditions. Dignity for workers is at the core of what we are all fighting for,” reads the email from Repola.
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