The International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE) avoided a labor strike entering into a three year deal for two labor agreements with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) in October. The vote on these agreements by union members narrowly passed, showing a divide between members as efforts continue to find a balance between working conditions and pay rates for crew. The explosion of streaming has given rise to expectations that companies are reaping profits however with less than transparent ratings and always confidential terms it is difficult to know specific numbers. Merchandising a property such in printed materials, books, paper, planners, stickers, posters, banners, and digital materials, and other items seems to be the sign of a successful show. Let’s hope that matters continue to shift in favor of a healthy working period.
Last December, a report published from UNI Global Union entitled, “Demanding Dignity Behind The Scenes,” appealing for an end to “long hours” work culture. UNI represents 20mm workers in 140 unions and guilds in 70 countries, including IATSE in North America. A survey of members indicated working conditions on average led to fatigue and included an average 60 hours work week. With IATSE entering into a new, three-year agreement other unions and guilds are hoping that IATSE will help set the standard moving forward into the new norm as studios ramp up production to meet content demand from streaming platforms. Only time will tell if the new terms will result in increases for labor union workers and better work product.