IATSE to Extend Talks on Basic Agreement Into June as Union Vows to ‘Negotiate the Deal Our Members Deserve’

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees wrapped up its third week of negotiations with Hollywood’s major studios and streamers on a new Basic Agreement on Thursday, but has yet to reach a deal.

In a message to members on Friday, the union said it expects to add additional bargaining days to the schedule in June. The contract is due to expire on July 31, and the union has repeatedly stated it does not intend to grant an extension.

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The Basic Agreement covers 45,000 to 50,000 crew members, largely based in Los Angeles, from 13 local unions. The major issues on the table include funding of the union benefit plans, wage increases, artificial intelligence protections, and safety measures.

“We are working toward setting additional bargaining dates to continue to negotiate the deal our members deserve,” Matt Loeb, the international president of IATSE, said in the message.

Outward signs thus far have indicated that the talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers are going relatively smoothly. There was no hint in the message that the two sides are at loggerheads, or that the union intends to seek a strike authorization.

The talks this week were shadowed by the death of Rico Priem, a grip who was killed in a crash at 4:30 a.m. on Saturday while driving home from the set of the ABC show “9-1-1.” The union has suggested that long hours — Priem worked two 14-hour days prior to the crash — may have contributed to his death. The union has previously sought longer rest periods, and provisions requiring hotel stays for workers who are too tired to drive home.

The union has scheduled bargaining to begin on Monday on the Area Standards Agreement, a contract that covers 23 locals around the country. Those talks are scheduled to run through May 31.

The AMPTP is also scheduled to negotiate with the Teamsters and the other Basic Crafts unions in June. That contract is also due to expire on July 31.

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