Hollywood Teamsters Exchange Proposals as First Week of Contract Talks Conclude

Hollywood Teamsters 399 has concluded its first week of contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, as it is negotiating alongside the Basic Crafts unions for the first time ever.

In a Friday memo sent to members, Teamsters says that it has exchanged proposals with the AMPTP for both for the ‘Black Book’ Agreement, as well as its Location Manager Agreement. Rank-and-file members of the union from its steering committees were also present in negotiations.

In a statement, Teamsters 399 president Lindsay Dougherty noted that another major topic of talks with the AMPTP was the California Film/TV Tax Incentive program.

With productions in Los Angeles and throughout California significantly lagging behind both the levels seen in the state prior to last year’s strikes and behind current production levels in other major shooting cities like Atlanta and New York, Dougherty said that Hollywood’s unions are unified behind the push for a stronger tax incentive program to encourage studios to keep shoots in Los Angeles.

“It is our members and their stories that impact this important middle class job creation program. An incentive program that, ultimately, the employers also benefit from,” she said.

But while Teamsters 399 is ready and willing to work with Hollywood studios to lobby legislators in Sacramento for a larger tax incentive program, Dougherty made it clear that “increasing work here in the state will not be done by making any concessions on behalf of our members throughout these negotiations.”

“Our proposals shared this week reflect the marching orders from our members and center around the long due respect and parity our members are owed for their skill, expertise and contribution to this industry,” she added.

Along with the increases to wages and health/pension plan contributions sought by all of Hollywood’s unions, Teamsters 399 is also seeking minimum staffing requirements for drivers and protections against self-driving vehicles being used for productions.

Collectively, the Teamsters and Basic Crafts represent 7,600 entertainment workers — including drivers, dispatchers, electricians, caterers, laborers, cement masons, plumbers, animal trainers and casting directors, among others. The other unions in the Basic Crafts are the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 40, Laborers International Union of North America Local (LIUNA!) 724, United Association Plumbers Local (UA) 78 and Operating Plasterers & Cement Masons International Association (OPCMIA) Local 755.

The current Teamsters contract is set to expire on July 31, the same day that the current contract for Hollywood’s below-the-line union, IATSE, is set to expire. Both unions have publicly refused to extend the date, and IATSE has yet to reach a deal with AMPTP after three months of negotiating, with wages said by insiders to be a major sticking point. Talks between IATSE and AMPTP are set to resume on June 24.

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