IATSE Says It Received More Than 50 Reports Of 14-Hour Workdays In First 7 Months Of 2021: “Likely Just The Tip Of The Iceberg”

Joyce Gilliard, Injured In ‘Midnight Rider’ Train Crash, Makes Film About Set Safety – Watch The Trailer” />
You can see his film here: In 2006, two-time Oscar-winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler made a documentary about the problem called Who Needs Sleep?
The union and its 13 West Coast studio locals say that they “are unified in their support for reasonable rest periods between shifts and during the work day. All members need time for sleep; time for family and friends; time for themselves and for their sanity; time for breaks, to get home safely.”
Earlier this week, IATSE president Matthew Loeb said that the contract negotiations have reached a "critical juncture," and has been preparing his members for a possible strike or lockout.
IATSE, which has made brutally long workdays a key safety issue in its negotiations for a new film and TV contract, says that between January and July of this year it “received well over 50 reports of workdays 14 hours or longer, and it is likely that is just the tip of the iceberg. Nobody should accept or defend 14-hour days as an industry standard.”
Excessively long hours have been a bone of contention for years and was one reason that nearly half of those voting to ratify the union’s contract three years ago voted against it.
IATSE Taking Hard Line In Advance Of Film & TV Contract Talks
The IATSE Locals are unified in their recognition that no other industry demands its employees work without bathroom, meal, or relaxation breaks day after day. “Long and irregular hours without adequate breaks and rest are unsafe. The IATSE Locals are unified in their understanding that no other industry deprives its employees enough time to drive to and from work and get eight hours sleep every work day, week after week, after week.” “The science is clear,” the union says in a pamphlet distributed to members recently.
And last year, Joyce Gilliard, the hair stylist who was seriously injured in the train accident that killed camera assistant Sarah Jones on the first day of shooting Midnight Rider in 2014, wrote and produced a short film about the dangers of working long hours. In 2018, on the fourth anniversary of the accident, she wrote and produced a PSA about the dangers of long workdays and drowsy driving. The 40-minute film, Daddy’s Home, aired on YouTube and other social media platforms on February 20 – the sixth anniversary of the accident.
“We are Local 600 Directors of Photography,” they said, “who are writing to express our ongoing concern about the hazards of unsafe working hours, a practice that continues despite all the medical and indisputable evidence of the harm caused by fatigue. Most notable are the numerous car accidents our colleagues have suffered in recent years, including the weekend before we entered these negotiations.”
Their letter, which also was signed by John Lindley, president of the International Cinematographers Guild, IATSE Local 600, says “the time to create meaningful change is now.” Last month, 14 of Hollywood’s top cinematographers – including Oscar winners John Toll, Roger Deakins, Emmanuel Lubezki and Erik Messerschmidt – signed a letter urging the member companies of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers finally to address “the hazards of unsafe working hours” that have been common in the film and TV industry for decades.

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