IATSE strike could impact production in Canada

Pop Goes The News – Film and television production in Hollywood North could be halted after U.S. members of IATSE – the union representing crew workers – voted almost unanimously to walk off the job.

According to IATSE, 89.7 percent of eligible voting members cast a ballot and 98.7 percent voted to authorize a strike.

It would be the first strike in the union’s 128-year history and could have an impact on productions currently underway in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver. Canadian IATSE workers are under different collective agreements but many foreign productions here employ U.S. IATSE members.

The U.S. union is in talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents studios, about reducing work hours and boosting pay for workers on productions for streaming platforms.

“This vote is about the quality of life as well as the health and safety of those who work in the film and television industry,” said international union president Matthew D. Loeb, in a statement. “Our people have basic human needs like time for meal breaks, adequate sleep, and a weekend. For those at the bottom of the pay scale, they deserve nothing less than a living wage.”

Among the celebrities offering support to IATSE workers is Canada’s Seth Rogen, who tweeted: “Our films and movies literally would not exist without our crews, and our crews deserve better.”