Crew members union seeks support as members vote on potential strike this weekend

Local news

A caravan of cars at Hollywood and Highland Friday sought to draw attention to the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, which may take a step toward striking next week.

The union’s 60,000 members are voting this weekend on whether leadership should be authorized to strike if they can’t reach a deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents the major television and film studios, on sticking points like pay, hours and working conditions.

Crystal Hopkins, president of IATSE Local 871, said a better deal is needed for union members.

“We have people who don’t make enough money to buy groceries every week who are taking their bosses’ lunch trash home to have dinner,” Hopkins said.

The vote ends Monday, and if 75% of the union’s members approve, IATSE leadership can call for the strike, though even if the motion is approved, it doesn’t necessarily mean a strike is guaranteed.

If the strike does happen, though, it would bring production to a standstill, taking away the necessary professionals who design costumes, do hair and makeup, operate lights and much more.

“You can’t work the way that we work continuously, day after day, week after week, without proper rest, without being able to have proper meal breaks in the middle of the day,” Hopkins added.

Many celebrities have taken to social media to support IATSE’s cause, and the union has also received support from dozens of politicians at the state and federal level, according to Deadline.

Also backing IATSE is community activist Michelle Manos, who sees repercussions of this battle traveling beyond show business.

“It’s a workers’ issue, and this has the ability to impact workers rights on a broad scale in our city,” Manos said. “We know Los Angeles is an anchor in California, and as goes California, so goes the country.”

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