Hollywood And IATSE Reach Deal, Avoid Strike, But Other Labor Issues Linger

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Denis ZilberbergOctober 14, 2021Wage & Hour Law

Labor unrest seems to be the plot conflict in Hollywood these days. Months of contentious negotiations between the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and the studios finally came to an end after they reached a deal to prevent crew members from striking and bringing the entertainment industry to a painstaking halt.

If you work hard, you not only deserve to be compensated accordingly, a fair wage and fair treatment is your right. The Westlake Village wage and hour dispute attorneys at The Kaufman Law Firm can work for you, and on behalf of your employees, to ensure you receive fair compensation for your work.

Resetting the Normal

With this deal, the IATSE avoided their first strike in their 128-year history. The union represents carpenters, costume and set designers, makeup artists, set decorators, sound technicians, and other workers who toil behind the scenes to create what we see on the screen.

The IATSE won or partially won quite a bit of their demands, including:

  • 3% annual wage hikes
  • Pay and conditions improvements on streaming productions
  • Rest periods of 10 hours between daily shoots and 54 hours on weekends

Not everyone is happy with the results, union members have grumbled online with dissatisfaction. IATSE leadership is in the act of convincing a majority of their more than 40,000 members from 13 Hollywood locals to ratify the pact. If rejected, leaders will have to return to the negotiation table.

The deal takes big steps to deal with 14- and 16-hour workdays, short rest periods, and unbalanced compensation for streaming shows and movies.

The surge in demand for content during the COVID-19 lockdowns and quarantines also played a part. Last year, studios and unions agreed to Pandemic Protocols that made for longer and more stressful shoots. The increase in production resulted in new levels of worker angst.

Unrest amongst workers is not unfamiliar. Across the U.S. employees are reevaluating their relationship to their work environment. Workers are demanding more from their employers who traditionally demand so much from their workers.

The consensus seems to be that if IATSE leadership gives in to the studios, more intense debates are in the cards when negotiating future contracts.

One thing is certain regardless of the IATSE vote because the entertainment industry is changing and evolving with streaming and increased production, the strife will persist over working conditions and fair pay concerning streaming productions.

When Should I Contact A Lawyer?

It is important to know your rights. Employees can file a wage and hour claim with the Labor Commissioner’s office or with the Superior Court of California anytime they think they are being mistreated or perceive unfair treatment.

Depending on your circumstances, you may need the experienced Westlake Village wage and hour dispute attorneys at The Kaufman Law Firm to guide you through the complex maze of handling your case in state or federal court.

Contact us for a consultation by clicking here or calling us at 818-990-1999.


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