WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – A record-breaking year for film in Wilmington and North Carolina could soon come to a sudden halt.
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) announced Monday that its members overwhelmingly voted to authorize a possible nationwide strike, the first such vote in the union’s 128-year history.
“The members have spoken loud and clear,” IATSE President Matthew Loeb stated in a news release. “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.”
According to IATSE, 90 percent of the union’s 60,000 members participated in the vote with 98 percent opting to authorize the strike following a three-day voting period. The threshold needed for strike authorization was 75 percent.
“I hope that the studios will see and understand the resolve of our members,” Loeb said. “The ball is in their court. If they want to avoid a strike, they will return to the bargaining table and make us a reasonable offer.”
The IATSE news release stated that Loeb informed the the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) of the election results Monday morning, saying he “emphasized the need for the studios to adequately address the union’s core issues.”
It’s unclear what a strike would mean for what has been the biggest year for the film industry in North Carolina.
Currently, five productions are being filmed in Wilmington, including “Our Kind of People,” “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” “Florida Man,” “Echoes” and “Breakwater.”
“George and Tammy” and “One True Loves” are listed as in pre-production in Wilmington.
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