The International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees announced on Tuesday that an estimated 5,000 production workers for TV commercials will now join the below-the-line workers union after a third party confirmed that the majority of those workers have signed cards seeking voluntary recognition.
The Association of Independent Commercial Producers is set to recognize the new union after a years-long grassroots campaign called “Stand With Production,” which saw line producers, bidding producers, production assistants and supervisors organize to push for improved working conditions.
Many crew positions on commercial shoots are already unionized with IATSE, including hair and makeup artists, camera operators and grips among others. But production workers have not been eligible for healthcare, retirement benefits, and overtime pay among other benefits that IATSE members enjoy.
In July 2022, “Stand With Production” publicly announced its partnership with IATSE for unionization and signed a neutrality agreement with AICP that outlined a path for voluntary union recognition. With the majority of production workers now signing their unionization cards, the AICP has agreed to recognize the union and will begin negotiations on a collective bargaining agreement.
IATSE will also begin the process of chartering a new local for commercial production workers.
“From the beginning, the Stand With Production movement has been about finding a way to open a dialogue with the powers that be and codify those solutions into written agreements. That will now become a reality for thousands of workers,” said IATSE President Matthew D. Loeb.
The Stand With Production campaign has been part of larger efforts by IATSE to unionize production workers in various areas of film and television. IATSE Local 839, also known as The Animation Guild, is in the midst of a years-long campaign to unionize production workers at various animation studios, including Walt Disney Animation, Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network.