IATSE head Mathew Loeb focused the attention of the industry this week when he announced that his union had “no interest” in extending its current agreement with the studios. In a detailed statement published on the organization’s website, he laid out the timeline for a strike authorization as they begin the process of negotiating a new three-year labor contract with Hollywood’s studios.
Because the wounds are still fresh from last year’s extended strikes by Hollywood’s writers and actors, some IATSE members expressed concern that their negotiators might be inclined to concede to the studios on most points, to avoid risking another prolonged strike. Loeb’s statement sought to assuage those concerns of his members, saying that they “aren’t going to just settle” with the AMPTP.
The union movement in the industry continues to grow, not only in production but also within exhibitions. Nitehawk Cinemas is a two-location, independent theatre group based in Brooklyn, New York. It offers a dine-in format, similar to national exhibitors such as Alamo Drafthouse and Studio Movie Grill.
Citing challenging working conditions during this summer’s “Barbenhimer” phenomenon, the workers at Nitehawk’s Prospect Park location became the latest Brooklyn cinema to unionize. Workers at Alamo Drafthouse and Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) also voted to unionize, both citing working conditions during “Barbenhimer” as why they felt the need to unionize.
While workers across the industry are gaining clout, one wonders whether there will be enough income for workers and corporations to share, and the entire industry is squeezed by a dip in box office grosses.
See also: Workers at Nitehawk Cinema Prospect Park Are Unionizing (Jacobin)