Netflix Music Supervisors Seek Unionization Vote

Music supervisors at Netflix, who are seeking representation by IATSE, on Monday filed papers seeking a union-certification election with the National Labor Relations Board.  

IATSE, a labor union, represents over 160,000 technicians, artisans and craftspersons in the entertainment industry, including live events, motion picture and television production, broadcast, and trade shows in the United States and Canada.

The move comes after an overwhelming majority of music supervisors currently or recently employed by Netflix requested voluntary recognition of their union from the company. The company declined the request. Earlier this year, Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) denied music supervisors’ request ask to grant equal rights, including such staples as overtime pay and other basic labor protections and benefits.

However, representatives argue that music supervisors are an indispensable part of visual media, responsible for soundtracking movies, television series, video games and all manner of content. As their duties have expanded, pay has stagnated and conditions have deteriorated.

Netflix is currently the largest employer of music supervisors of any studio in the AMPTP.

The company has seen its music supervisors receive expansive critical acclaim and even win Emmy Awards. “Stranger Things” supervisor Nora Felder picked up the Emmy Award this year for her work on the show after placing Kate Bush’s 1985 song “Running Up That Hill” in a climactic moment of the series.

Music supervisors have joined forces in an effort to set standards and address longstanding issues for those in the craft, including fair treatment, access to healthcare, standardized pay rates, and negotiate with employers in good faith and win an enforceable and codified union contract.

This marks the first time music supervisors have taken their case to the labor board.