IATSE receives pledge of solidarity from global unions

“Your fight is our fight,” entertainment unions worldwide told IATSE, pledging their support for the group as it begins negotiations with Hollywood producers for a new Basic Agreement. Initial talks began last week and a return to negotiations with the AMPTP is set for March 18. The current contract expires on July 31.

The unions speaking out today are affiliates of UNI Global Union and represent 500,000 workers in 140 unions and guilds across the media, entertainment and arts sectors worldwide. IATSE is also a branch of the UNI Global Union.

In a statement, the UNI Media, Entertainment & Arts Executive Committee said in part: “Member unions around the globe stand in solidarity with our American colleagues as they go about their negotiations for fair wages, good working conditions and worker protections. rights in the digital environment including the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI). We support your demands and call on AMPTP to engage with you in a meaningful way to reach a fair contract. Your fight is our fight. Ensuring fair pay, protecting the rights of our members and dignity at work are part of the common agenda of all entertainment unions in the UNI Global Union, often facing the same global companies. (See below for full statement.)

The show of support is not unlike how foreign unions stood shoulder to shoulder with their American counterparts during the writers’ strike last year.

Noted Christy Hoffman, UNI Global Union General Secretary, “What happens in Hollywood reverberates throughout the entertainment industry and these negotiations will affect behind-the-scenes workers around the world. IATSE can begin bargaining with AMPTP knowing they have the support of the global trade union movement and the support of half a million workers in the industry. Last year, we rallied behind the writers – who are also our members – until they won, and now we’re ready to mobilize, cheer and stand by our IATSE brothers as they carry the flag for the production team around the world.”

Philippa Childs, Chair of UK entertainment trade union Bectu and UNI World Executive Board member said: “We face the same companies and share the same issues in an increasingly globalizing industry. America’s leading studios and broadcasters are setting models and have a huge responsibility for the well-being of the entertainment industry’s global workforce. They must do better. IATSE is fighting for humane working time arrangements that allow backstage crew a life outside of work – and that’s something all entertainment workers, everywhere, deserve.”

Miguel Paniagua, Secretary General of the Sindicato Único de Trabajadores del Espectáculo, SUTEP (Argentina) and Regional President for UNI’s media, entertainment and arts sector in the Americas, added: “The collaboration between our unions is important and strong. We work together to raise standards and learn from each other, and we have shared goals to make productions safer, more inclusive and free of violence and discrimination. We hope these negotiations send a strong signal to the Americas region that good faith negotiations between manufacturers and unions are the foundation for a fair and sustainable industry.”

Here is the full statement of solidarity:

The Global Community of Entertainment Unions stands in support of IATSE and its sister Unions

The UNI Global Union Media, Entertainment and Arts Sector Executive Committee, on behalf of the 140 unions that make up a collective force of 500,000 workers in many trades of the entertainment industry worldwide, expresses its firm solidarity with our colleagues in the Alliance International Theater Stage. Employees (IATSE) and its sister unions in the United States in support of their efforts to negotiate a fair deal for workers with the AMPTP.

Behind-the-scenes workers are the backbone of the US entertainment industry, contributing tirelessly to the creation and execution of captivating productions that enrich the lives of audiences around the world. IATSE is a driving force of international union cooperation and solidarity to raise standards and conditions for workers, everywhere.

Together, we fight for the recognition of trade union rights and to extend collective agreements to all industries and countries for a sustainable development of the industry and workers’ careers and for a fair, inclusive and safe working environment.

Member unions around the globe stand in solidarity with our American colleagues as they go about their negotiations for fair pay, good working conditions and protection of workers’ rights in the digital environment, including the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI).

We support your demands and call on AMPTP to engage with you in a meaningful way to reach a fair contract.

Your fight is our fight. Ensuring fair pay, protecting the rights of our members and dignity at work are part of the common agenda of all entertainment unions in the UNI Global Union, often facing the same global companies.

Workers in our industries are being squeezed during the ongoing transformation in the transmission model. Unions fight higher work pressure, unstable remuneration patterns and uncertain working hours and deadlines, which are common features of production in the global economy.

We stand united to acknowledge the profound impact of generative AI on the future of our industry. As technological advances continue to reshape the entertainment landscape, it is incumbent on unions to ensure that the deployment of generative AI is based on a human-centered approach guided by the principles of equity and fairness.

To this end, we demand the inclusion of provisions in negotiations everywhere that guarantee workers’ rights to consent, meaningful participation and full transparency in the development and deployment of AI-generating technologies. Fair compensation mechanisms must be established to ensure that the benefits derived from AI innovation are shared equally with workers.

We stand shoulder to shoulder with IATSE as they defend the rights and dignity of entertainment workers.

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