IATSE contract negotiations shift to difficult issues of wages, AI, arrears.

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IATSE negotiators are preparing for the next phase of contract talks with major Hollywood studios and streamers after concluding talks with all 13 West Coast local unions this week on specific aspects of a new master contract.

On Monday, IATSE and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers will focus talks on wages, back wages, working conditions and the use of artificial intelligence in production. These are among the most difficult issues for the union representing the vast majority of TV and film workers.

Matthew Loeb, president of IATSE International, has said his goal is to have members ratify the new three-year agreement before the current agreement expires on July 31. After months of strikes last year by the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA, the industry is watching the IATSE talks with trepidation. Another industry shutdown is expected to be avoided by the fact that the parties began the bargaining process in early March, giving them enough run to discuss difficult issues without the added pressure of a ticking clock. Way is found.

Related Content: IATSE Chief Matthew Loeb discusses strike risk, AI and union priorities.

Matthew Miller, VP of IATSE International has so far put a positive spin on the atmosphere in the negotiation room at AMPTP headquarters in Sherman Oaks. This is in contrast to the contentiousness of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA negotiations last year, which IATSE leaders witnessed in preparation for their time at the table.

“The craft issues of our Indigenous people need attention from employers, and at the table we're seeing better engagement and communication,” Miller said. “This shows that the studios' negotiators have different marching orders in this deal cycle. This approach will be helpful as we continue our negotiations.
In the next few weeks.”

On Friday, IATSE confirmed that Property Craftsperson Local 44, affiliated with AMPTP, entered into a tentative agreement with AMPTP on April 25. which are specific to their discipline. This is followed by the formal Basic Agreement General Negotiations, which will begin on April 29 and run until May 16. The agreement covers approximately 40,000 workers from 13 West Coast communities.

Negotiations on the IATSE Area Standards Agreement are scheduled to take place from May 20 to May 31. The deal covers about 20,000 workers in 23 locales across the country, excluding New York but including nearly every other location where TV shows and movies are produced.

IATSE leaders have so far kept the uproar to a minimum despite much anxiety surrounding the talks in an industry desperate to avoid another debilitating job stoppage. But the stakes are high, and Loeb and Miller are under pressure to secure stronger contracts for union members who are integral to the TV and film production process. In an updated message to members in the negotiations, IATSE reminded members of the need to demonstrate commitment and solidarity.

“IATSE continues its call to all film and TV sisters, brothers, and relatives, and the broader labor movement, to participate in #OneFightFridays, and wear union swag every Friday for the rest of the negotiations to show our worldwide solidarity. The strength and unity can be visually expressed in the country,” the message said.

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