Hollywood Still Faces Major Shutdown Despite IATSE Agreement Delaying Strike

As it turns out, all is not well in Tinsel Town. Despite news surfacing over the weekend the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees had come to an agreement to avoid a total production shutdown in favor of better working conditions for its members, members of the union are starting to rally against the deal IATSE officials came to an agreement on with Hollywood's leading studios.

Part of the new deal included 10-hour daily turnarounds, meaning IATSE members had to have at least 10 hours off between shifts. According to one union member that's gone on record with Variety, that's the "same sh-t" that members already get.

"We wanted to send a message that things needed to actually change," dolly grip Rowan Byers told the trade. "The 10-hour turnarounds — that's the same shit that's already in my contract. Why would I be excited about that?"

Another major sticking point was the avoidance of a six-day workweek. To get around that, the new IATSE deal was supposed to have at least a 54-hour weekend in place for members of the union, which is made up of hair and makeup artists, electricians, propmakers, cinematographers, and editors.

The Variety report has a handful of IATSE members on record saying they'll vote against the deal, leading to concern a shutdown may happen afterall so that a stronger deal can be made in favor of the members.

"Overall, it's very disheartening. I do think it will be rejected," gaffer Theodore Rysz told Variety. "This is the one time we as organized labor in Hollywood had the ability to take a stance and make a change. We had the potential to shut down production. In general, I feel like our leadership has let us down again."

After a deal was announced Saturday afternoon, union leaders hailed it as a landmark deal.

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"This is a Hollywood ending," IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb said in a statement announcing the agreement. "Our members stood firm. They're tough and united… We went toe to toe with some of the richest and most powerful entertainment and tech companies in the world, and we have now reached an agreement with the AMPTP that meets our members' needs."

Cover photo by Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images