Friend of PPOW, Luke Baumgarten of Range Media recently interviewed Rebecca Cook, Spokane resident and Vice President of IATSE Local 488. Local 488 serves film and TV crews in Washington, Oregon, Montana, and North Idaho.
IATSE represents TV and Film workers and has well over 60,000 members. The membership recently voted overwhelmingly, 98% of the membership, in favor of authorizing a strike if they don’t get a contract that meets their demands. This is the first time in the 120+ year history of this union that members have ever voted to authorize a strike.
You can listen to Luke’s very compelling October 12, 2021 interview of Rebecca Cook by clicking this link.
You will discover how an IATSE strike would impact the inland Northwest, specifically:
- The breadth of entertainment workers in our area
- How a 12-hour “shoot day” is really a 16-hour work day.
- How grueling hours lead to unsafe working conditions and potentially deadly commutes.
- How “new media” like Netflix, Amazon & Disney+ continue to pay people poorly, even as they cross a quarter-trillion dollars of market value, thanks to outdated contracts they are trying desperately to maintain at the expense of workers’ health and safety.
- The overwhelming majority of workers who are now saying “enough is enough.”
- Some seriously encouraging news about how taking this stand seems to be working.
This is potential strike is particularly close to PPOW’s heart because Betsy Czark, our Media & Messaging Chair and website person, has an IATSE connection: her sister is a custumer for film work and a long-time member of the IATSE union.
If you want to get an idea of working conditions for film and TV workers, check out @ia_stories on Instagram, where IATSE members share their stories. IATSE also has a website with numerous sources for more information and ways to help.