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Could a strike hit Hollywood’s production output?

Hollywood's behind-the-camera union is voting on whether to strike. What impact could that have on content production?

Earlier this week, Hollywood union the International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE for short), announced it would hold a strike authorisation vote on 1st October, allowing 60,000 members to walk out on productions.

The authorisation vote is expected to pass, but doesn’t automatically mean the union’s leadership will call a walkout.

But if members of IATSE do walk out, what impact could that have on TV and films that are currently filming, or set to film, in Hollywood?

In an article for TVBEurope’s sister title NextTV, David Bloom suggests it could be the streaming services who could be heavily impacted by a walk out.

For some, like Netflix, the possibility of production shutting down due to strike action may not be such a big deal as they have a global production presence.

Netflix, for instance, is increasingly reliant on international productions in countries ranging from the UK to Mexico to fulfil its programming targets, and the IATSE strike is not expected to impact international territories.

But, the streaming revolution has led to a huge demand for production teams who are working long days, missing meal breaks, and dealing with other challenges. The union wants better accommodation for breaks and turnaround times between production hours, but is is meeting resistance from the likes of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represent the studios (and Netflix and Amazon).

Bloom adds that it’s too early to say if the IATSE members will go on strike — they never have before. But, this labour dispute is something to watch in the coming months.

Read David Bloom’s full article here.