The International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) is expected to hold a strike vote in the coming week, after negotiations broke down between the union and the major film studios. The union, represents behind-the-scenes entertainment industry workers including cinematographers; camera operators; editors; wardrobe, makeup, and hair workers; stagecraft workers; and much more. Without them, movies and television shows and live shows from Broadway to stadiums cannot happen, and billions of dollars in profit are made possible by their work.
The workers are calling on the studios to treat “new media” as what it now is: media, no longer a new and unstable format that requires workers to make concessions. They’re calling for reasonable rest—basically a night’s rest and weekend breaks. And they need the pensions and health coverage they’ve worked for to remain secure and available to them for years to come.
Contracts with premium cable networks like HBO and Showtime are not expiring, though, so a potential strike would not affect those productions.
“On behalf of our hundreds of thousands of members working across film and television, we stand in solidarity with our I.A.T.S.E. brothers, sisters and kin,” the leaders of other entertainment industry unions, including the Directors Guild of America, the Teamsters, SAG-AFTRA, and the Writers Guild of America, East, said in a statement. “The basic quality of life and living wage rights they’re fighting for in their negotiations are the issues that impact all of us who work on sets and productions.“
● School bus driver shortages have made the news in a number of areas around the country, with kids in some districts getting to school late as a result. The Amalgamated Transit Union has a suggestion: Try paying school bus drivers more.
“These private school bus contractors are looking for the cheapest labor possible and refusing to offer competitive pay and benefits,” Costa continued. “This is not a part-time job. The hours are tough, and the job of transporting kids to and from school and other school activities is more than just driving a bus. Until these school bus companies offer the pay, health care, and other incentives that will attract quality CDL drivers, we will continue to see these shortages in this industry.”
● A landmark win for domestic workers lurks in the reconciliation bill—if Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema let it through.
If the labor movement does not take the lead in pushing for a fair and just transition, one of these futures awaits us: (1) the world will either fail to make the transition to renewable energy and scorch us all, or (2) the working class will once again be forced to make all of the sacrifices in the transition.
The time is long past ripe for U.S. unions and our leaders to step up and use our collective power in our workplaces, in our communities, and in the streets to deal with these crises. That means we need to break out of the false choice between good union jobs and a livable environment.
● Gee, I wonder if the nation needs an industrial policy, Erik Loomis asks. (That’s sarcasm, if you needed to know before clicking through.)
From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.