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IATSE Begins Historic Strike Authorization Vote That Could Lead To Hollywood Shutdown

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The union which represents tens of thousands of Hollywood workers began holding a historic strike authorization vote Friday that could ultimately bring the industry to a standstill.

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) -- which represents Hollywood TV and film workers like editors, camera operators, set designers, grips, electricians, make-up artists and graphic artists across the U.S. and Canada – began sending out ballots Friday morning asking members whether or not the union has permission to authorize a strike.

Members have three days to vote, with results expected Monday. Even if approved, it would not mean a strike would start immediately. IATSE's leaders will simply have been given authorization from its membership to implement a strike at some point in the future if talks continue to stall.

The IATSE has been bargaining for several months with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), the group which represents all the major film and television companies. Issues at stake include higher pay, better working conditions, stronger benefits and residuals from streaming services.

The IATSE has a membership of about 60,000, with an estimated 47,000 of those based in the L.A. area.

According to Variety, it would be the first strike in IATSE's history.

Earlier this week, the board for the union which represents Hollywood cinematographers voted unanimously to support the strike authorization vote.

The vote for strike authorization needs 75% approval from IATSE members in order to pass, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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