Social media is abuzz with resistance to the new IATSE film and TV contract, with opponents urging members to reject it and send the parties back to the bargaining table to hammer out a better deal. But a no vote could just as easily result in a strike without any resumption of talks. It would all be up to IATSE president Matt Loeb, according to Cathy Repola, executive director of IATSE Editors Guild Local 700 and leader of the opposition.
“There were some improvements made in these negotiations, but we grossly underachieved in the areas of greatest importance,” she wrote in a posting on the guild’s website.
“As soon as the Memorandum of Agreements (Local and Basic) are completed, the ballots will be sent out with an explanation and recommendation from the IA President,” she wrote. “It will also include a letter from Local 700’s leadership urging a vote against ratification. The IA President will indicate that a vote against ratification is a vote to strike. If a majority of the electoral votes are cast against ratification, that does not necessarily mean we go back to the table. The IA President will decide upon the strategy if that were to occur. If the majority vote in favor of ratification, the new agreement will be implemented and it will apply across the board.”
Repola, who has called the new deal “a totally unnecessary” and “unacceptable agreement,” is urging her members to vote no. Her local’s board of directors has also voted unanimously to recommend that their members vote against the deal – which has put them at odds with Loeb and the leaders of all the other 12 West Coast studio locals, whose leaders are recommending that their members vote yes.
IATSE, which recently celebrated its 125th anniversary, has never launched an industry-wide strike against Hollywood.