Latest news updates: Hollywood shutdown a step closer after production workers authorise strike

One of Hollywood’s most powerful unions representing crew workers has voted to authorise a strike if they are unable to reach an agreement with producers on a new contract.

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (Iatse) said that 90 per cent of its eligible voters — 60,000 workers from across the country whose contracts are being negotiated by studios — cast a ballot and 98 per cent voted in favour of a strike.

“The members have spoken loud and clear,” Iatse president Matthew Loeb said in a statement. “This vote is about the quality of life as well as the health and safety of those who work in the film and television industry.”

The first nationwide strike in the union’s 128-year history gives it more leverage as it returns to the negotiating table with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (Amptp), which represents studio and production companies, seeking better working hours, improved pay, meal breaks and other demands.

Iatse also wants to improve wages for crews on streaming platforms they say “get paid less” even on productions with budgets that rival blockbusters.

Amptp said it was “committed to reaching an agreement that will keep the industry working” but said “it will require both parties working together in good faith”.

Negotiations between Iatse and Amptp stalled in September. If there were a strike, it would be larger than the previous one in 2007-08, when 12,000 film and television screenwriters picketed for 14 weeks.

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