Union and AMPTP reach agreement in principle – The Hollywood Reporter
After an unprecedented strike authorization, the IATSE and the Alliance of Film and Television Producers reached a provisional contractual agreement on Saturday that narrowly avoided a major work stoppage. If the deal had not been reached, IATSE members working under the relevant contracts would have had to report to picket locations determined by their locals, such as major studios, from Monday.
IATSE and AMPTP have confirmed the news, which was first reported by Deadline on Saturday. The new three-year agreement will now go to union members for ratification.
In a letter to members, leaders of the 13 West Coast locals said the agreement in principle applied to the 2021 Basic and Videotape Agreements: Negotiations. Our solidarity, both at the management and at the grassroots level, was the main reason why no local was left behind and every priority was taken into account, ”it reads. Negotiations are continuing for the IATSE regional standards agreement, the union said.
According to the letter, union priorities that were met in the agreement (although no specific details were provided) included living wages, better wages and working conditions on streaming projects, annual increases in 3% of salary scales which are retroactive, “employer-funded benefits” during the contract, higher meal penalties, daily interventions of 10 hours for all and rest periods of 54 and 32 hours on weekends. Other features include the incorporation of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday as a vacation, diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, amplified sick leave benefits, and more hours of retirement. retirement and health care workers.
More details of the deal will be made available to union members “over the next few days,” the letter added.
In a statement about the deal, IATSE International President Matthew Loeb said, “It’s a Hollywood ending.” He added, “Our members have stood their ground. We are tough and united.
IATSE Vice President and Director of Cinema Mike Miller added, “Our members will see significant improvements, but our employers will benefit too.” He said: “This regulation allows pre-production, production and post-production to continue without interruption. Workers should have improved their morale and be more alert. Health and safety standards have been improved.
Had a strike been called, it would have affected the projects produced under the basic agreement of the union and AMPTP, the agreement on regional standards and the agreement on videotapes, which have all expired, and prompted about 60,000 workers to suspend their work. AMPTP President Carol Lombardini was AMPTP’s lead negotiator, while Loeb and Miller led the end of the IATSE talks. They have been back in negotiations since October 5, when the IATSE returned to the table armed with a strike authorization vote approved overwhelmingly by their members.
The immediate reaction of IATSE members to the tentative agreement was mixed, with some remaining with questions because the initial IATSE email regarding the agreement was vague in its details.
The move comes after months of heated negotiations between the union representing much of the industry’s crew and AMPTP, which is negotiating on behalf of the studios. Although talks on the basic agreement began in May, they were twice delayed before resuming in August, after which the union began warning its members that its negotiators and producers remained “very distant” in their vision of a contract. On September 20, Loeb and 13 West Coast Locals leaders informed members that they would be holding a strike authorization vote due to AMPTP’s “failure to continue negotiations” . (AMPTP maintained that it had “presented a comprehensive deal proposal” which the union decided to reject.) A strike was then authorized by more than 98 percent of the union’s membership.
Even after negotiations resumed after the vote, tensions were high. Union insiders claimed AMPTP was not working effectively enough to address their concerns, and on October 13, Loeb announced an interim strike date on Monday, October 18 at 12:01 am PT. “The pace of the negotiations does not reflect any sense of urgency,” he said. “Without an end date, we could go on talking forever. Our members deserve to have their basic needs met now. “
The base deal and regional standards deal expired on September 10, although members were told to continue working under their old deal until told otherwise. The videotape agreement expired on September 30.
The union has long told its members that the sticking points in the talks center on establishing adequate rest and meal periods, higher minimum rates for certain trades, greater remuneration for streaming and video projects. “New media” and the financing of its retirement and health plan. Over the past week, the disagreement is said to have focused in particular on rest periods and continuous compensation.
As talks dragged on between the two sides, union members ran two separate social media campaigns that activated and galvanized their colleagues. Members of IATSE Local 871 launched the hashtag #IALivingWage, which saw screenplay coordinators, writing assistants, assistant production coordinators, and art department coordinators discuss their financial struggles in the crafts which all have contract minimum wage rates of less than $ 18 an hour. In July, a lighting designer opened an Instagram account, IA Stories, which anonymously shared stories of long hours and rough working conditions on film sets. The account now has over 150,000 subscribers.
Thirteen locals work under the Basic Agreement, including the larger Local 600 (International Cinematographers Guild), which represents 9,000 members. He reported that 92% of eligible members participated in the strike authorization vote, with 99% voting “yes”. Local 700 (Motion Picture Editors Guild), with 8,500 members, also got 92% of eligible voters, with 98% voting “yes”.
The base agreement also covers Local 800 (Artistic Directors), Local 44 (Affiliated Real Estate Craftsmen), Local 80 (studio shots, craft service, set doctors, maritime service personnel and warehouse), Local 695 (production audio technicians, television engineers, video assistants and studio projectionists), local 705 (movie customers), local 706 (makeup artists and hairdressers), local 728 (electric studio lighting technicians), local 729 (set painters and sign makers), local 884 (studio teachers), Local 871 (script / continuity supervisors, coordinators, accountants and allied specialists of the production) and Local 892 (costume designers).
During the negotiation period, major entertainment unions, lawmakers and organizations, including the American Society of Cinematographers and American Cinema Editors, made statements of support for IATSE.
In a statement on the deal on Saturday, Directors Guild of America President Lesli Linka Glatter said, “The DGA applauds the conclusion of IATSE negotiations with AMPTP. The IATSE has taken a strong stance on issues of quality of life and living wages, and has struck a solid contract with significant improvements for its members. We congratulate IATSE President Matt Loeb and the Bargaining Committee for their success in promoting the rights of their members.