IATSE Holds Strike Authorization Vote for Pink Contract Workers – The Hollywood Reporter

IATSE Holds Strike Authorization Vote for Pink Contract Workers – The Hollywood Reporter
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The IATSE is holding a vote to authorize a strike, after the theatrical crew union said talks with the Broadway League and Disney Theatrical Productions had stalled.

Contract negotiations, and the strike authorization vote, concern stagehands, hairdressers and make-up artists and costume designers working on a so-called pink contract. About 1,500 workers are directly covered by the agreement and they work in 45 theatrical shows, with 28 productions on Broadway and 17 on tour.

Voting is open on Wednesday and Thursday only. If members vote to authorize a strike and a contractual agreement is not reached, the IATSE says pink contract workers could strike as early as Friday morning.

Pink contract staff are employed directly by the production, and often work on the show from out-of-town tryouts in other cities, then on Broadway, or follow a show while on tour. They work alongside union local stagehands who are employed by theater owners and covered by IATSE Local One in New York.

The union must reach a threshold of at least 75% “yes” to go ahead with strike authorization. However, reaching this threshold does not necessarily mean that a strike will be called, but rather that the President of the IATSE can call a strike if necessary. Having a strong demonstration of member support for a strike is often a key bargaining tactic for unions.

“We must show strength and unity to ensure that we earn the salaries, benefits and rights that all IATSE members have earned and deserve,” said IATSE International President Matthew D.Loeb.

The previous contract was in effect from July 1, 2019 to July 2, 2023, but the members worked under the previous terms as long as the talks were productive. The first trading session took place on May 25. The two sides met for a 7 p.m. negotiating session beginning Monday evening. No additional meeting had been scheduled for Wednesday morning.

According to the union, some progress has been made, including tentative agreements on employer-provided health care, without reducing plans or increasing out-of-pocket costs, as well as securing employer-provided housing for tour teams, in a first for pink contract workers. However, there are still sticking points around raising salaries on Broadway and setting weekly and daily rest periods.

A spokesperson for the Broadway League, the trade association for producers and general managers, said the League had no comment at this time.

It would be the latest union to consider industrial action after the Writers Guild went on strike on May 2 and SAG-AFTRA went on strike on July 14. IATSE members and Loeb himself joined many of their pickets and rallies.

Actors’ Equity issued a strike authorization vote for their touring contract with the Broadway League and received members’ approval. The union subsequently reached an agreement with the League and the members ratified the contract in April.

This is a separate contract from the Bus and Truck Tour Agreement, which covers crew members working on touring shows that are not produced by the Broadway League. Members of that contract voted to ratify a new deal earlier this month after previously warning of a stalemate in negotiations.

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