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Op-Ed: Why did Hollywood crew members vote to strike? Here’s what some of them have to say

An illustration of 4 members of a Hollywood crew, from neck to knees, outfitted for work. One holds a sign that says IATSE.
(Ivan Ehlers / For The Times)

Hollywood crews have voted overwhelmingly in favor of waging a strike if their union — the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees — is unable to reach an agreement with producers on a new three-year contract.

In their own words, film and TV crew workers share some of their reasons for the recent vote. To protect their identities, and their jobs, they asked to be identified only by their initials.

Illustration of a portable clothing rack with sweaters and tops hanging on it and one sweater on the floor.
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An illustration of a walkie-talkie that says "1st Unit" on it; a pile of sunflower seeds is nearby.
An illustration of three computer monitors on a desk with a chair that's empty.
An illustration of professional-quality headphones that say "2nd Unit" on them.

An illustration of a portable cart filled with electronic gear that includes desktop and laptop computers.
An illustration of spotlights alongside extension cords and clothespins.
An illustration of a paintbrush with yellow paint dripping off of it.

An illustration of a director's chair labeled "hair & makeup" with tools of the trade on the seat.
An illustration of a clapperboard used when a film director calls "action."

(Ivan Ehlers / For The Times)

Ivan Ehlers is a cartoonist and writer in San Pedro. His work has appeared in the New Yorker and MAD magazine, among other publications. @ivan_ehlers

By threatening to strike for better pay, hours and working conditions, film and TV workers are taking a stand for many who believe our work culture is broken.


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