Entertainment unions worldwide unite in solidarity with IATSE as contract talks begin with Hollywood producers

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

Statement from the UNI Media, Entertainment and Arts Executive Committeesaid:

Member unions around the world stand in solidarity with our US colleagues as they enter theirs negotiating fair pay, decent working conditions and protecting workers’ rights in the digital environment, including the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI).

We support your requests and urge AMPTP to engage with you in a meaningful way to reach a fair contract.

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

UNI’s partner, IATSE, which represents entertainment industry workers in the US and Canada, recently began negotiations to renew the Hollywood Master Agreement with AMPTP, which expires on July 31, 2024.

Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of the UNI Global Union, said:

“What happens in Hollywood reverberates throughout the entertainment industry, and these negotiations will affect behind-the-scenes workers around the world.” IATSE can begin bargaining with AMPTP knowing it has the support of the global trade union movement and the support of half a million workers in the industry. Last year, we rallied behind the writers – who are also our members – as they triumphed, and now we’re ready to mobilize, cheer and stand with our IATSE brothers and sisters as they carry the banner of the production team globally.”

Mobilizing under the slogan “Many Trades, One Battle,” IATSE is also joining forces with related industry unions in negotiations over health and pension plan proposals. On March 3rd, thousands of IATSE and Teamsters members rallied in Los Angeles in a show of force before contract negotiations began on March 4th.

In his opening remarks on the negotiations, IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb said, “Our people understand the business they are in, the sacrifices and the precarious nature of employment, and yet they work in this environment. But there’s no reason these companies can’t build in more protection, reliability and predictability that create more security.

Philippa Childs, head of British entertainment union Bectu and member of the UNI World Executive Council said: “We face the same companies and share the same problems in an increasingly globalized industry. Major American studios and streamers create role models and bear a huge responsibility for the well-being of the global entertainment industry workforce. They should do better. IATSEs are fighting for humane working arrangements that allow the behind-the-scenes team to have a life outside of work – something that all entertainment workers in every country deserve.

Miguel Paniagua, General Secretary of the United Entertainment Workers Union, SUTEP (Argentina) and regional president for UNI’s Americas media, entertainment and arts sector, said:

“Cooperation between our unions is important and strong. We work together to raise standards and learn from each other and 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 manufacturers and unions are the foundation for a fair and sustainable industry.”

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