Entertainment workers: keep fighting for what you deserve
The Socialist Freedom Party supports the International Alliance of Theater Employees (IATSE) workers fighting for a fair and just contract from the Alliance of Film and Television Producers (AMPTP). These billionaire production studios like Amazon, Apple, Disney, Universal, and Paramount seek to extract every minute of content they can from the ranks of skilled, hardworking entertainment workers, while ignoring the oppressive hours and harsh, dangerous conditions that ruin the body of workers. and put their lives in danger. The tragedy and preventable the death of Halyna Hutchins is just one example.
IATSE’s problems in the workplace are not unique. Their struggle mirrors the situation across the country and the world: where big business is raking in ever-increasing billions, while the workers who created that wealth face unstable and deteriorating conditions. The demands that television and film workers are asking for are things all workers deserve: reasonable hours, remuneration and protections that allow them to live a decent life outside of work. Entertainment bosses will always say that 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 place. labor, and all other employer practices that place profit over the welfare of the human beings who produce it.
These studios are full of money and can afford to treat workers fairly. If the AMPTP opened its books, the world would see that any claim that they cannot afford fair residuals for streams is false. Their annual reports to shareholders already reveal their huge profits. Grassroots demands like safe turnarounds and salary increases that keep up with inflation are more than possible. With the upcoming contract vote, IATSE members will decide whether the concessions won from the studios after a massive vote to authorize a strike and media attention are enough. We do not think so.
And to the members of IATSE: please know that if you decide to reject this contract and fight for more of what you deserve, the Socialist Freedom Party and the community will stand side by side with you on the picket line. We and the entire working class are natural allies in your struggle because the content you create inspires us, and your fight for better treatment will help workers everywhere.
At a time when companies are more hungry 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 poll) are supporting strikes with a growing realization that it’s time for workers to take power from greedy corporations. If IATSE members take a stand and remain united as rank-and-file members to fight for the demands of all union members, your victories will reverberate from the studios, sets and offices to the entire working class.
The Socialist Freedom Party