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Entertainment unions across the globe unite in solidarity with IATSE as contract talks begin with Hollywood producers


Entertainment unions across the globe unite in solidarity with IATSE as contract talks begin with Hollywood producers

UNI Global Union affiliates, representing 500,000 workers in 140 unions and guilds across the media, entertainment and arts sector worldwide, are pledging support for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) as the union begins negotiations for a new Hollywood contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

A statement from the UNI Media, Entertainment & Arts Executive Committee, said:

The member unions across the globe stand in solidarity with our US colleagues as they go into their negotiations for fair pay, decent working conditions and the protection of workers’ rights in the digital environment including the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI).

We support your demands and call on the AMPTP to engage with you in a meaningful way to achieve a fair contract.

Your fight is our fight. Ensuring fair pay, the protection of our members’ rights and dignity at work are part of the common agenda of all entertainment unions in UNI Global Union, often facing the same global companies.”

UNI affiliate, IATSE, which represents workers across the entertainment industry in the U.S. and Canada, has recently entered talks to renew the Hollywood Basic Agreement with the AMPTP which expires on 31 July 2024.

Christy Hoffman, UNI Global Union General Secretary, said:

“What happens in Hollywood reverberates across the entertainment industry and these negotiations will impact behind-the-scenes workers worldwide. IATSE can begin bargaining with the AMPTP knowing they have got the backing of the global trade union movement and the support of half a million workers in the industry. Last year, we united behind the writers – who are also our members – until they won, and now we are ready to mobilize, cheer and stand by our IATSE siblings as they carry the flag for production crew globally.” 

Mobilizing under the banner ‘Many crafts, one fight,’ IATSE is also joining forces with sister unions in the industry in negotiations on health and pension plan proposals. On 3 March, thousands of IATSE and Teamsters members rallied in Los Angeles in a show of strength before contract talks began on 4 March.

In his opening remarks for the negotiations, IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb said, “Our folks understand the business they’re in, the sacrifices and precarious nature of employment, and they work within that environment anyway. But there’s no reason these companies can’t build in more protection, reliability, and predictability that creates more security.” 

Philippa Childs, Head of the UK entertainment union Bectu and member of the UNI World Executive Board said: “We face the same companies and share the same issues in an industry that is increasingly globalized. The major U.S. studios and streamers are setting patterns and have a huge responsibility for the well-being of the global workforce of the entertainment industry. They need to do better. IATSE are fighting for humane working time arrangements that allow behind-the-scenes crew a life outside work – and that’s something that all entertainment workers, in any country, deserve.

Miguel Paniagua, General Secretary of the Sindicato Único de Trabajadores del Espectáculo, SUTEP (Argentina) and Regional President for UNI’s Media, Entertainment and Arts sector in the Americas, said:

“Cooperation between our unions is important and strong. We work together to raise standards and learn from each other, and we have common goals to make productions safer, more inclusive and free from violence and discrimination. We hope these negotiations will send a strong signal to the Americas region that good faith negotiations between producers and unions are the foundation for a fair and sustainable industry.”