At a popular event on Sunday, IATSE members bonded, became cunning, and made it clear that they felt major enthusiasm for the next leave vote.
In a demonstration in Los Angeles in strong support for the IATSE strike authorization, hundreds of people lined up in Hollywood on Sunday to have their car windows painted with the union logo, raised fists and messages urging some 60,000 artisans to “vote yes” in the elections which begin on Friday.
The effort ran for seven hours on Sunday afternoon behind the Sunset Boulevard headquarters of the Motion Picture Editors Guild, one of 13 Hollywood locals covered by IATSE-studio contract negotiations that reached a dead end. at the beginning of the month. Dissatisfied with progress on pay rises, breaks and other important issues, IATSE leadership is optimistic it can mobilize its members to approve a strike in a bid to significantly escalate negotiations with the Alliance. film and television producers, which represents major studios and production companies.
Support for the yes vote among handles, cameramen, editors and others is prominent on social media and conversations on set. But decorating cars on Sunday will help get the message across in Los Angeles’ most public space: its streets.
“It’s a fun way to show your solidarity. The members, they want to do something and it gives them something to do. It’s not like going to a rally and listening to someone talk… people are in their cars in LA all the time, ”Cathy Repola, executive director of Editors Guild, IATSE Local 700, told IndieWire.
Los Angeles’ socio-economy is played out through its autocentrism. There are the capitalist crusaders of “Repo Man” who conduct their work through the sprawl of the city, the privileged Cher and his Jeep in “Clueless” and Sin-Dee taking care of the business (without a car!) In ” Tangerine “.
Exhausted production assistants who fall asleep at the wheel or have accidents might as well be a category unto themselves on IATSE Stories, the Instagram account that has helped fuel the sense of yes with its anonymous accounts of working conditions. Of the industry. To illustrate the tenor of the contractual stalemate, a union leader recently joked that studio executives mourn the misery during negotiations only to then drive home in their luxury vehicles easily worth double – triple, quadruple, five. times – what their lowest paid employees earn in a year. .
Needless to say, no G-Wagen walked through the Editors Guild parking lot for an hour on Sunday afternoon, but plenty of Toyota, Honda, Fords and an older Lexus or two.
The idea of painting a car was started by Shiran Amir, editor and member of Local 700, and led by members of the union’s young workers group who worked with other locals to launch the event in less than a week.
“I think we bought all the markers in LA, at least the whites,” said Ashley McKinney, a member of Local 700. “People are bringing extra supplies. “
Jason Brotman, a Local 700 board member and co-chair of his young workers group, said there was particular enthusiasm for the leave vote among his peers. About a quarter of the local’s 6,500 members are under 35.
“It’s pretty well documented at this point, both economically and politically, that Millennials and Gen Z are united against things they see as unfair,” he said. “The way things have worked in our industry, it’s just not fair. It shouldn’t destroy people’s families, but unfortunately it is. “
These feelings are also felt by the more senior members. Repola expressed confidence that the Local 700 election will exceed the three-quarter “yes” threshold required to register its delegates in favor of a strike authorization; the local council voted unanimously in favor of his recommendation.
“During the pandemic, the contrast was on their faces – being able to have dinner with your family, or not missing a wedding, or being there for your children’s birthdays,” she said.
While it remains to be seen whether the strong sense of enthusiasm for a ‘yes’ vote will manifest over the weekend, Repola and other leaders have shown a strong sense of optimism about its outcome.
“I have been with the local for 29 years and I have never seen anything like it, inter-local solidarity,” she said.