IATSE Leader Is ‘Hopeful’ as Contract Talks Continue

The president of IATSE told members Saturday that he is hopeful that a deal will be reached “soon” with the studios on a new agreement for 23 local unions around the country.

The union has been bargaining for the last three months on two contracts — the Basic Agreement and the Area Standards Agreement — that together cover about 70,000 crew workers nationwide.

The last two weeks of talks have been focused on the Area Standards Agreement, which covers about 20,000 workers in 23 locals, including major production centers like Georgia and New Mexico. Those talks wrapped up on Saturday without a tentative agreement — but more negotiation days are expected to be added later in June.

“I want to thank the ASA Negotiating Committee for their thorough work to prepare for these negotiations,” Matt Loeb, the international president of IATSE, said in a statement. “Their contribution helped ensure we have the momentum we need at the table. I’m hopeful that we will soon reach a tentative agreement that members will want to ratify.”

The union is returning to the table on Monday to resume talks on the Basic Agreement, which covers 13 locals headquartered in Los Angeles. Those talks are set to run through Wednesday, and could result in a tentative agreement this week.

IATSE is focused on a sizable increase in wages, a new funding stream for the pension and health plans, rest periods and meal penalties, and rules around subcontracting. Much of the focus has been on artificial intelligence, and how best to retrain and compensate workers who lose their jobs to AI.

The Basic Agreement and Area Standards Agreement are expected to be similar in most respects, though workers based in Los Angeles tend to command higher wages.

Teamsters Local 399 and the other Basic Crafts unions, which collectively represent about 8,000 workers, are set to begin their negotiations on June 10.

All three contracts are due to expire on July 31.

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