By Editors Guild Staff
On Tuesday evening, the MPEG Board of Directors voted unanimously to recommend that Guild members back a strike authorization vote for IATSE, after talks for a Basic Agreement with producers broke down.
On Wednesday, Cathy Repola, National Executive Director of MPEG, sent the following email to members with President Alan Heim.
As you probably know, we are moving forward with plans to take a strike authorization vote soon regarding the IATSE Basic Agreement negotiations.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the Board of Directors voted unanimously to recommend that Guild members vote yes in favor of a strike authorization vote. This is a historic moment for the rank-and-file members of the IATSE bargaining unit. It’s a time to stand together, to seek the changes in working conditions that all members so desperately deserve, and Local 700 continues to advocate to secure the long-term sustainability of the Motion Picture Industry Pension & Health Plans (MPI Plans).
This isn’t about what any one Local wants or whether we will get ‘ours’ or ‘What’s in it for me?’. We know what it feels like for other locals to not stand with us, and we can demonstrate to all of our IA community what solidarity looks like. This isn’t just about the current negotiations; it is about future negotiations as well, and how we can successfully move forward as a union for generations to come.
While we cannot predict the ultimate outcome of an eventual contract, it is imperative we achieve a significant number of members voting with overwhelming support for this historic strike authorization vote. Failure to achieve 75% majority is not an option.
Also, the Board discussed the potential financial hardships the membership will face if we ultimately strike. We are deeply concerned, and that is why we did not take this decision at all lightly.
In the coming days, we will be developing a plan to provide some economic relief as we research the most effective way to support our members. Ultimately, our efforts will depend on the duration of a strike and how many members will be impacted — both of which are impossible to predict right now. But we assure you, the Guild leadership intends to stand with you throughout this process. Your elected Board members are working members too, and, if it comes to that point, they will be joining you in making this sacrifice for the betterment of the future of this union.
Stay tuned for further details very soon.
Alan Heim, President
Cathy Repola, National Executive Director