The Freedom Socialist Party supports International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) workers fighting for a fair and just contract from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). These billionaire production studios like Amazon, Apple, Disney, Universal, and Paramount are looking to squeeze every minute of content they can out of the ranks of skilled and hardworking entertainment workers, while ignoring oppressive hours and harsh, unsafe conditions that ruin workers’ bodies and endanger their lives. The tragic and avoidable death of Halyna Hutchins is just one example of this.
IATSE workplace problems aren’t unique. Their struggle mirrors the situation across the country and world: where top corporations rake in ever-growing billions, while the workers who created that wealth face unstable and worsening conditions. The demands that TV and Movie workers are calling for are things all workers deserve: reasonable hours, pay and protections that allow them to live a decent life outside of work. Entertainment bosses will always say the long days and conditions are “just the way this industry is,” — and the same has been said about industries with child labor, sexism and racism in the workplace, and every other employer practice that places profit over the well-being of the human beings that produce it.
These studios are flush with cash and can afford to treat workers fairly. If AMPTP were to open their books, the world would see that any claims that they can’t afford fair residuals for streams are bogus. Their annual reports to stockholders already reveal their vast profits. Rank and file demands like safe turnaround times and wage increases that keep up with inflation are more than possible. With the upcoming contract vote, IATSE members will decide if the concessions won from the studios after a massive strike authorization vote and media attention are good enough. We don’t think so.
And to IATSE members: know that if you decide to vote down this contract and fight for more of what you deserve, the Freedom Socialist Party and the community will stand shoulder to shoulder with you on the picket line. We and the entire the working class are natural allies with your struggle because the content you create inspires us, and your fight for better treatment will help workers everywhere.
In this moment when companies are hungrier than ever for new shows and movies, IATSE members have tremendous leverage. Public sentiment is already on your side – more workers these days (74% according to a recent survey) support strikes with a growing awareness that it’s time for workers to take the power from greedy corporations. If IATSE members take a stand and stay united as rank and file to fight for the demands of everyone in the union, your victories will ripple out from the studios, sets, and offices to the whole working class.
The Freedom Socialist Party