The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) has set a strike deadline for Monday, October 18, pending the outcome of negotiations with production companies. IATSE's deadline comes after strikes by food production and auto industry unions.
Negotiations between IATSE and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) have been tense and protracted, with studios reportedly entrenching themselves after a weekend of talks.
"However, the pace of bargaining doesn't reflect any sense of urgency," IATSE President Matthew Loeb said in the union's press release. "Without an end date, we could keep talking forever. Our members deserve to have their basic needs addressed now."
The vote empowering Loeb to strike the deadline came last week; at 90% turnout, IATSE members voted overwhelmingly by a margin of over 98% to authorize the calling of a strike. A national strike is a first for the union, which has historically proven reluctant to take more drastic steps during negotiations.
If the vote margin wasn't enough, however, the social media accounts of many IATSE members have been active as of late. Members have taken to sites like Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) and Twitter (NYSE: TWTR), posting pictures of strike banners and signs and expressing readiness.
The motivation of the union's members to strike isn't surprising, given the...