“Despite our best efforts at the table, the pace of negotiations does not reflect the urgency of the situation,” Cathy Repola, national executive director of the Editors Guild, IATSE Local 700, said in a message to her members on Tuesday. “In the wake of the overwhelming strike authorization vote, the employers repeatedly refuse to do what it will take to achieve a fair deal. Either they don’t recognize what has changed in our industry and among our members or they don’t care. Or both.”
The union’s members have voted overwhelmingly to give IATSE president Matthew Loeb the authority to call a strike if the negotiations fail to reach a deal, and he said on Friday that if a deal is to be reached, it has to be made soon. Either way, he said, “it’s a matter of days, not weeks.”
Repola re-emphasized that sense of urgency in her communique.
“This fight is being waged across the country as other unions also focus on decent wages, health and safety and humane working conditions,” she wrote. “Dignity for workers is at the core of what we are all fighting for. On Friday night we told you ‘Days not weeks’ and that is still the case. It is more important than ever to stay in touch and stay connected with each other … as the pace quickens and we move forward.”
IATSE and the AMPTP were talking again on Tuesday and are expected to return to the virtual bargaining table on Wednesday, which would be the eighth day of talks since members authorized strike authorization.
On Saturday, IATSE’s 13 Hollywood locals involved in the negotiations put out this message to their members:
“We continue to stand firm on the priority issues that you supported with your strike authorization vote. Those priorities are living wages, sustainable benefits, our fair share of streaming success, reasonable rest and breaks during the workday. It is in the best interest of all IATSE members across the country that we continue to bargain until it becomes apparent that we cannot reach an agreement. That is what we intend to do while we simultaneously prepare for a work stoppage that we hope does not have to happen.”
On Sunday, union members were photographed making picket signs with slogans that said: “Fighting for Living Wages,” “Fighting for Rest Periods,” and “Fighting for Meal Breaks.”