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IATSE: Pace of Studio Talks ‘Does Not Reflect the Urgency’ of Workers’ Needs

”Either they don’t recognize what has changed in our industry and among our members or they don’t care. Or both,“ reads Editors Guild memo

As the seventh day of talks between IATSE and Hollywood studios comes to an end, a memo sent to members of one of its locals says that the pace of talks is not as fast as the below-the-line workers’ union wants.

In the memo obtained by TheWrap, Cathy Repola, National Executive Director of IATSE’s Motion Picture Editors Guild, says that the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents the studios, “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 memo continues.

Repola reiterated IATSE President Matthew Loeb’s insistence that the talks with AMPTP end in “days, not weeks,” regardless of whether a deal is reached or not. The union is demanding significant increases in compensation for streaming projects, strict penalties for producers that push shooting work into lunch breaks and weekends, and a hard limit on the number of hours that a shoot can last on any given day.

Approximately 60,000 film and TV workers voted last week to authorize a strike, which would shut down nearly all of Hollywood’s productions at a time when studios were hoping to make up for time lost to the COVID-19 pandemic and streaming services are ramping up production on original titles. Even productions shooting outside of IATSE’s jurisdiction in North America that may hire local, non-IATSE crew members would be affected as most of them still hire IATSE members for key department head positions like lead costume designer, cinematographer and lead makeup artist.

“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,” Repola wrote. “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.”