Moviegoers and soap opera fans can breathe a sigh of relief: a last-minute labor strike in Hollywood was averted. The American Iatse Guild, which represents tens of thousands of filmmakers, announced an agreement with production companies on its website Saturday night. Iatse president Matthew Loeb called the three-year agreement “the end of Hollywood” in a statement. The agreement has not yet been confirmed by the union members.
The Consortium of Production Companies, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, confirmed the deal to CNN without giving any details. The union, which represents photographers as well as designers of costumes, masks and decorators, earlier announced that it would stop working on Sunday at midnight.
Several movie stars such as Samuel L. Jackson and politicians such as Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren supported the call for the strike. This would have been the first statewide layoff for the union since 1945.
Last-minute talks included what the union felt were extremely long and virtually unregulated working hours. According to Iatse, the deal provides for “significant wage increases” and a “living wage for those at the lower end of the wage scale.” Daily rest periods were also agreed upon.
Hollywood is famous for the fact that for many employees it is difficult to reconcile unusual working hours with their private lives. But recently, an increasing number of employees on the Internet have been sharing shocking stories. Photographer Scott Siracciano accused production companies of viewing film crews as “expendable capital”.