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IATSE Members Overwhelmingly Approve Strike, Moves Hollywood One Step Closer To Historic Shutdown

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, made up of tens of thousands of workers in the Hollywood entertainment industry, gave overwhelming approval Monday to authorize a strike, a move which could potentially shut down industry.

According to a news release from the IATSE, about 98% of members voted in favor of authorizing a strike. The vote turnout was over 90%.

"The members have spoken loud and clear," IATSE International 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. Our people have basic human needs like time for meal breaks, adequate sleep, and a weekend. For those at the bottom of the pay scale, they deserve nothing less than a living wage."

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

Even though it is approved, it does not mean a strike will start immediately. IATSE's leaders simply now have been given authorization from their 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.

According to Variety, this 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, as did hundreds more over the weekend.

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