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The International Cinematographers Guild (ICG), Local 600, is alerting members that they will be asked to vote on strike authorization from Oct. 1-3. The Local is urging a “Yes” vote in support of strike authorization regarding the Basic Agreement negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
“We still want to deal. That’s our goal. And the best way to get a deal is to have a strong strike authorization vote. We can avoid a strike if we have that,” said ICG’s national president John Lindley in a released video message to Guild members on Thursday.
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) is set to hold a strike authorization vote after the latest talks between the union and the producers failed to produce an agreement. A “Yes” for authorization will require at least 75 percent of the members who vote in each Local, which would be issued by delegate votes. A “Yes” vote would give IATSE president Matthew Loeb authorization to call a strike should leadership decide this is the best course of action.
IATSE represents an estimated 150,000 entertainment workers in the U.S. and Canada, including cinematographers, costumers, editors, make-up artists and hair stylists. ICG is the largest of the 13 Locals that are currently in talks for the three-year basic agreement.
Said national executive director Rebecca Rhine in the video: “The most important thing is that we send a powerful message to the employers that we’re united, that we have overwhelming support and that the bargaining process has to result in an agreement that addresses our core priorities.”
Rhine and Lindley reported that those priorities include wage rates “that reflect the success of the streaming services and all the other providers,” “sustainable” benefits, weekend rest periods and daily rest periods “that protect our members from unsafe hours.”
To that end, Local 600 also sent a letter to the AMPTP, first published in August, warning of unsafe working conditions that has now been signed by nearly 100 cinematographers including Roger Deakins, Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki, Erik Messerschmidt, Rachel Morrison, Rodrigo Prieto and Bradford Young. The letter warns of the “hazards of unsafe working hours, a practice that continues despite all the medical and indisputable evidence of the harm caused by fatigue. Most notable are the numerous car accidents our colleagues have suffered in recent years including the weekend before we entered these negotiations.”
The Motion Picture Editors Guild (Local 700), also among the largest of the impacted Locals, is additionally urging members to vote “Yes” on the strike authorization vote.
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