IATSE to Resume Contract Talks With Studios on June 24

IATSE will take a two-week break in contract negotiations with Hollywood studios, with plans for a new round of talks starting the week of June 24.

The new dates come as the below-the-line union has yet to reach an agreement on the Hollywood Basic or Area Standards Agreements, while the studios’ labor reps, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), pivot to two weeks of negotiations with Hollywood Teamsters 399 and the Basic Crafts.

“We look forward to concluding our bargaining with the AMPTP and reaching an
agreement that our members will be proud to ratify,” IATSE president Matthew D. Loeb said in a Monday statement.

While negotiations moved at a steady pace in their early stages, insiders with knowledge of the talks told TheWrap that critical issues such as wage increases remain a major sticking point.

With thousands of IATSE members facing low financial reserves after last year’s WGA/SAG-AFTRA strikes and the number of production jobs still well short of pre-strike levels, the union is seeking significant wage increases to help members keep up with high living costs in Los Angeles and other major production hubs. That goal comes at the same time that studios, in an effort to make their streaming services profitable, are heavily cutting down on production spending.

IATSE, along with Teamsters and the Basic Crafts, are also seeking new funding models for the Motion Picture Industry Health and Pension Plan, which serves all of their members. As the plan is funded by studio and union contributions that are based on the number of active film/TV productions per year, the MPI is facing an estimated $670 million shortfall over the next three years due to contributions lost during last year’s strikes.

Along with wages, Teamsters 399 is expected to push for minimum staffing requirements for drivers on Hollywood productions, as well as protections against automated vehicles being used. Teamsters will negotiate alongside other unions that are part of the Hollywood Basic Crafts, including International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 40, Laborers International Union of North America Local 724, United Assn. Plumbers Local 78 and the Operating Plasterers and Cement Masons International Assn. Local 755.

Both IATSE and Teamsters have a July 31 expiration date on their existing contracts, and both unions have said they will not agree to an extension if a deal is not reached by that date.

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