The International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees called on Monday for a strike authorization vote, setting in motion potentially the biggest labor showdown in Hollywood since the last writers’ strike 14 years ago.

Some 60,000 IATSE members could end up walking off the job, most of whom are based in Los Angeles. A strike, if it comes, would lead to a nationwide shutdown of TV and film production, because three of the locals — 600, 700 and 800 — are “national” unions.

“It’s coast to coast,” said Joe Martinez, a special effects specialist in IATSE Local 44, who said he believed a strike is increasingly likely. “They think they got us by the balls. We make the product. If we don’t show up to work, what are they going to sell?”


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