IATSE Says Bargaining With Studios Has Been ‘Productive’ as Talks Near on Bigger Issues

IATSE told members Friday that the last several weeks of bargaining with the major studios has been “productive,” as the two sides move closer to talks on major issues.

The crew union announced that Local 705, which represents costumers, has reached a tentative agreement on issues pertaining solely to its members. That makes 11 out of the 13 “West Coast” locals that have reached agreements on their craft-specific items.

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The locals that have yet to make deals with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers are Local 44, the property crafts union, and Local 884, the studio teachers.

“These productive talks are a result of the leadership shown by the negotiation committees for the West Coast Studio Locals, many of whom were new to the process,” said Mike Miller, an IATSE vice president, in a statement to members. “We look forward to entering the next phase of this calendar.”

The two sides have scheduled a “caucus week” starting on Monday, as they meet amongst themselves before turning to the Basic Agreement — which covers all 13 West Coast guilds — on April 29.

The major issues on the table in those talks include wage increases, pension and health funding, artificial intelligence, and working hours. The union presented its proposals on those issues during the first week of March, and is expecting a response when “general” negotiations begin. Those talks are set to run for three weeks, through May 16.

The current IATSE contract expires on July 31, and the union is hoping to have a deal ratified by that date. Though the negotiations have proceeded without drama thus far, there is no guarantee that will continue once the major issues are up for discussion.

If talks break down, the union could call a strike authorization vote, as it did during the last round of negotiations in 2021.

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