Democrats back Hollywood crews threatening historic strike

Democrats back Hollywood crews threatening historic strike
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More than 100 Democratic lawmakers on Thursday voiced support for film and TV production workers who are threatening to strike in a push for better working conditions.

In a letter to the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which includes Hollywood and streaming giants such as The Walt Disney Co., Warner Bros. and Netflix, Democrats urged the group to ratify a new contract with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, which represents around 60,000 industry workers.

The labor union’s members will vote this weekend on whether to authorize a strike after contract negotiations between the two sides fell apart. Workers, who say they are exhausted by an intense production schedule, are pushing for more time for breaks and sleep and better pay. The union is also aiming to end a decade-old agreement that says streaming services can pay lower wages to production crews.

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“The key issues in this negotiation, as we’ve come to understand them, are about worker dignity and basic human necessities. We are unified in our belief in the importance of living wages, sustainable benefits, and reasonable rest periods between shifts and during the workday,” the lawmakers wrote.

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffJan. 6 panel faces new test as first witness pleads the Fifth Jan. 6 panel releases contempt report on Trump DOJ official ahead of censure vote The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden to update Americans on omicron; Congress back MORE (D-Calif.) and Sen. Alex PadillaAlex Padilla91 House Dems call on Senate to expand immigration protections in Biden spending bill Senators call for Smithsonian Latino, women's museums to be built on National Mall Historic immigration reform included in House-passed spending bill MORE (D-Calif.) led the letter, which was joined by Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWTO faces renewed scrutiny amid omicron threat Overnight Health Care — Presented by March of Dimes — Abortion access for 65M women at stake Hospitals in underserved communities face huge cuts in reckless 'Build Back Better' plan MORE (I-Vt.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerHospitals in underserved communities face huge cuts in reckless 'Build Back Better' plan GOP infighting takes stupid to a whole new level Progressive groups urge Schumer to prevent further cuts to T plan MORE (D-N.Y.). 

If production workers decide to walk out, they’d be taking part in the largest U.S. strike in decades, a development that would shut down the production of countless popular TV and streaming shows and movies. 

“A strike would dramatically disrupt the industry, the economy, and the communities we represent,” the lawmakers wrote. “We are hopeful that both sides can negotiate in good faith and reach a consensus agreement, which necessitates both parties continuing to participate in ongoing negotiations.”

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers has argued that the union's demands are too great, as the industry is still reeling from the pandemic.

Several prominent actors are backing the production workers, including Seth Rogen, Jane Fonda and Ben Stiller.