Democrats pressure Hollywood producers to negotiate ‘in good faith’ with crew union

Now, the politicians are getting into Hollywood’s largest labor dispute. A group of U.S. senators and representative, including Rep. Adam B. Schiff of Burbank and Sen. Alex Padilla of California, has asked the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers for a resumption of bargaining with the union representing Hollywood crews.

In a letter to AMPTP President Carol Lombardini released late Thursday, the legislators urged the producers to negotiate with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, which represents about 60,000 film and TV workers.

“Failure to reach an agreement would threaten not only the livelihoods of these workers, but also their family members who rely upon work in your industry, sending shockwaves throughout the U.S. economy and the industry,” they wrote.

This move comes as Hollywood technical workers are preparing to vote on whether union leaders can call a strike if producers fail to reach a new agreement. Crews want better working conditions. They are asking for improved pay, benefits and more of the streaming productions’ profits.

The basic agreement between IATSE and the AMPTP ended July 31 but was extended to Sept. 10. IATSE stated this month that the AMPTP had not responded to its latest proposal, and was seeking strike authorization from its members.

A vote will be held electronically on Friday and last until Sunday. Results are expected Monday. Matthew Loeb of IATSE stated to The Times that he expected the vote to pass.

A representative of the AMPTP wasn’t immediately available for comment.

So far the producers association has said that it has offered to make improvements to pay and other terms as well as cover an expected $400-million shortfall in the workers’ health and pension plan.

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