The Hollywood Crew Union has confirmed little of its contracts with the studio.
Camera operators, prop makers, lighting technicians and other members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees confirmed new contracts with Hollywood Studios on Monday. But the margins were dangerously narrow, with many members seeing the pact as toothless in terms of preventing long hours of work – the kind of conditions most recently created on the set of the Alec Baldwin film Rust, where the cinematographer died and the director was injured.
The IATSE, as the union is known, uses an electoral college-type system for contract ratification, in which local stores are assigned a different number of representatives depending on their size and all representative votes are based on a majority vote on each local. are cast on the basis of votes. The IATSE said the joint representative vote for the two contracts was 56 percent in favour, with a total of 641 votes from 36 locals.
However, the popular vote revealed a deep divide: 50.3 percent of members voted yes on both contracts. According to the Sangh, about 72 per cent of the 63,209 eligible members voted.
Only 49.6 percent of members in Los Angeles voted yes. In other regions of the country – except the Northeast, which largely operates under a different set of unexpired contracts – the popular vote was 52 percent.
IATSE President Matthew Loeb said in a statement, “The vigorous debate, high turnout and close elections indicate that we have an unprecedented movement-building opportunity to educate members on the collective bargaining process and drive greater participation in our union.” have the opportunity.”
In posts on Twitter, some angry members demanded recounts and insults at Mr Loeb and other IATSE officials.
Under new, three-year contracts, the studio agreed to give employees a minimum of 54 hours of rest on weekends, working a five-day week equivalent to the first time the artists worked. The contract includes wage increases of up to 60 percent for some workers who were previously paid close to the minimum wage in California. The studios agreed to cover the approximately $400 million reduction in the union’s pension and health plan without charging premiums or increasing the cost of health coverage.
Studios include giants such as Disney, NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia, and rebels such as Amazon, Apple, and Netflix.
Last week, a smattering of IATSE members held a news conference in Hollywood to criticize the proposed contract — specifically a provision that allows employees to continue working 14-hour days. Contracts provide for a 10-hour “turnaround” or the time between being required to leave a set and return at the end of the work period.
Last month, the shooting death of “Rust” cinematographer Helena Hutchins and the film’s director Joel Souza’s injury brought concerns about the crew rest. According to an affidavit, hours before Mr Baldwin used a gun as a prop – he was told the firearm was “cold”, meaning it contained no live ammunition – a half-dozen camera Technician went off set to protest working conditions. His complaints included marathon work days, long journeys on set (cutting turnaround rest time) and delayed pay.
IATSE and the studio reached a possible settlement on October 16 for a new deal, averting a threatening strike that could have come at a particularly bad time for Hollywood. Studios are scrambling to make up for lost production time during the coronavirus pandemic. Another shutdown would have left the content wardrobe dangerously bare — especially on streaming services, which have become critical for some companies’ standing on Wall Street.
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