More than 100 members of Congress call on Hollywood producers to come up with a fair deal at IATSE – deadline
More than 100 Democrats in the House and Senate and independent Bernie Sanders signed a letter urging the Alliance of Film and Television Producers to negotiate a fair contract with IATSE, saying: “We are united in our belief the importance of decent wages, sustainable benefits and reasonable rest periods between shifts and during the working day ”- three of the union’s fundamental demands.
The letter was signed by 31 senators and 87 representatives and sent to AMPTP president Carol Lombardini.
Union members begin voting on leave to strike on Friday ahead of what could be the last round of negotiations before a strike that would end film and television productions across the country.
IATSE to Hollywood media giants: “You are going to change the way you do business”
Politicians also reminded Lombardini that workers in the industry “risked their health and safety” during the pandemic, and that “the entertainment you jointly produce is helping to heal our nation.”
Here is their letter:
Dear Madame Lombardini:
As the elected representatives of the voters who make a living working behind the scenes in film and television production, we urge you to negotiate fair succession contracts with the International Alliance of Theater Stage Employees (IATSE). We support the principles of adequate sleep, meal breaks and a living wage for all workers.
These workers have risked their health and safety over the past year, working during the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure that the film and television production industry is left intact. Production has now returned to pre-pandemic levels, in large part thanks to the critical role these workers play in the creative process. The entertainment that you jointly produce helps heal our nation.
The contract under negotiation covers around 60,000 film and television production workers across the country. Failure to reach a deal would threaten not only the livelihoods of these workers, but also their family members who depend on work in your industry, sending shock waves throughout the U.S. economy and industry.
The key issues in this negotiation, as we understand them, concern the dignity of workers and basic human needs. We are united in our belief in the importance of a living wage, sustainable benefits and reasonable rest periods between shifts and during the work day.
It appears that IATSE members are mobilizing for a nationwide strike authorization vote on October 1, 2021, due to the announcement that AMPTP has no plans to make a counter-offer. A strike would seriously disrupt the industry, the economy and the communities we represent. We hope that the two sides can negotiate in good faith and reach a consensual agreement, which obliges both sides to continue to participate in the ongoing negotiations.
We call on AMPTP to negotiate with these workers to achieve a fair contract and meet the basic human needs that will allow them to do their jobs in safety and with dignity.
Members of Congress
The letter-writing campaign was led by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) And Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) and Whip of the Senate majority Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Minn.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (DN.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ben Cardin (D-Md .), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (DN. Y.), Martin Heinrich (DN.M.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Ben Ray Luján (DN.M.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Bob Menendez (DN.J .), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), Jack Reed (DR.I.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Jeanne Shaheen (DN.H.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), And Ron Wyden ( Golden.).
The letter is also signed by Democratic Representatives Pete Aguilar (California), Cynthia Axne (Iowa), Nanette Diaz Barragan (California), Karen Bass (California), Earl Blumenauer (Oregon), Suzanne Bonamici (Oregon), Brendan Boyle (Pa .), Julia Brownley (Calif.), Tony Cárdenas (Calif.), André Carson (Ind.), Troy Carter (La.), Judy Chu (California), David Cicilline (RI), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ), J. Luis Correa (California), Angie Craig (Minn.), Charlie Crist (Florida), Danny K. Davis (Illinois), Madeleine Dean (Pa.), Val Demings (Fla.), Theodore Deutch (Florida), Debbie Dingell (Michigan), Anna G. Eshoo (California), Adriano Espaillat (NY), Bill Foster (Illinois), Jesús García (Illinois), Jimmy Gomez (Calif.), Jahana Hayes (Connecticut), Steven Horsford (Nev.) , Hakeem Jeffries (NY), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson Jr. (Ga.), Mondaire Jones (NY), Robin L. Kelly (Illinois), Daniel Kildee (Michigan), Andy Kim (NJ), Raja Krishnamoorthi ( Illinois), Ann Kuster (NH), Conor Lamb (Pa.), John B. Larson (Connecticut), Brenda L. Lawrence (Mich. ), Barbara Lee (California), Susie Lee (Nev.), Teresa Leger Fernandez (NM), Andy Levin (Mich.), Ted Lieu (California), Zoe Lofgren (California), Alan Lowenthal (California), Stephen F. Lynch (Mass.), Carolyn Maloney (NY)), Tom Malinowski (NJ), Betty McCollum (Minn.), James P. McGovern (Mass.), Grace Meng (NY), Kweisi Mfume (Md.), Joseph D Morelle (NY), Jerrold Nadler (NY), Grace Napolitano (California), Joe Neguse (Colo.), Marie Newman (Illinois), Donald Norcross (NJ), Eleanor Norton (DC), Scott H. Peters (California) , Charlie Pingree (Maine), Mark Pocan (Wis.), Katie Porter (California), Mike Quigley (Illinois), Jamie Raskin (Md.), Kathleen M. Rice (NY), Deborah K. Ross (NC), Bobby L. Rush (Ill.), Linda Sánchez (California), Mary Gay Scanlon (Pa.), Janice Schakowsky (Ill.), Brad Sherman (California), Bradley Scott Schneider (Ill.), Mikie Sherrill (NJ), Darren Soto (Fla.), Melanie Stansbury (NM), Haley M. Stevens (Mich.), Thomas Suozzi (NY), Dina Titus (Nev.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich. .), Norma Torres (California), David J. Trone (Md.), Juan Vargas (California), Peter Welch (Vermont), Susan Wild (Pa.) And Frederica S. Wilson (Florida).