The IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) and the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers) have recently closed a deal, to avoid a worker’s strike that might cripple the industry.
The leaders of the 13 local unions of Hollywood stated that the members played a key role in changing the course of these negotiations. The solidarity across leadership, rank, and file-level was the main reason that no local was abandoned and every issue was addressed.
Matthew Loeb, the President of IATSE International stated that the unity and persuasion of the members made these negotiations possible.
The suggested three-year contract, which would impact around 40,000 union members, comprises of:
- Improved working conditions and wages for streaming
- Achieving living wage
- A rise of retroactive scale wage by 3% annually
- Increased meal period penalties including current rate
- Employer-funded term benefits
- The birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. as a holiday
- Weekend rest periods of 32 and 54 hours
- Daily rest periods of 10 hours with no exclusions
- Equity, inclusion, and diversity initiatives
IATSE added that the individual locals will update the members on more contract-related specifics in the upcoming days.
The virtual negotiations between the sides reportedly went on for a while. Carol Lombardini, the President of the AMPTP, also addressed details surrounding thorny issues of working conditions in the industry. Loeb and Lombardini agreed on multiple fronts, understanding the consequences of a crew member strike on the industry which is recovering from COVID-19 shutdowns.
Sources from the industry stated that both Peter Rice, the Chairman of Disney General Entertainment Content along with Ken Ziffren, the veteran entertainment attorney, were instrumental in bridging the gap between the two parties.
The union members of IATSE have pushed for longer rest periods along with increased wages for lower-paid crafts, in a move that has sparked tremendous support from the directors, actors, and writers among others.