Hollywood studios have averted a strike through a tentative contract with behind-the-scenes workers, keeping them at their jobs.
About 60,000 film and television workers were slated to walk out on Monday 18 October until the two sides came to agreement over the weekend. Late Saturday 16 October, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) agreed a three-year deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), the trade association representing over 350 TV and film production companies.
“This is a Hollywood ending,” IATSE International President Matthew Loeb said in a statement. “Our members stood firm.”
Deal must be ratified
The agreement must still be ratified by union members. The process could span several weeks. Production will continue in the meantime.
IATSE said the proposed contract addresses core issues, including reasonable rest periods; meal breaks; a living wage for those on the bottom of the pay scale; and significant increases in compensation to be paid by new-media companies.
AMPTP represents major producers
The AMPTP is the entertainment industry’s official collective bargaining representative, negotiating 58 industry-wide collective bargaining agreements on behalf of hundreds of motion picture and television producers.
The group represents major film, TV and streaming video producers, including Walt Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Apple, Netflix, and Amazon.
“We went toe to toe with some of the richest and most powerful entertainment and tech companies in the world, and we have now reached an agreement with the AMPTP that meets our members’ needs,” Loeb said.
He opined the deal should serve as a model for other entertainment and tech industries, gaming industry employees and gig workers.
Employer group staying mum
The AMPTP has not commented on the tentative deal.
IATSE received support from actors, directors and 120 members of Congress who put their names on a letter sent to AMPTP president Carol Lombardini.
But some IATSE members have expressed concerns about the tentative deal to trade publication Variety, contending that it does not significantly alter current working conditions.
IATSE said it is still negotiating deals for crew in major production hubs like New Mexico, New York, Illinois, Georgia and Louisiana. The union has about 150,000 members in the U.S. and Canada.