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No deal yet as US below-the-line union talks continue

Source: Screen File

Film crew

US industry workers union IATSE (the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) has said it will resume negotiations over a basic agreement in June after the originally scheduled window for talks ended this week. 

Talks between the union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) over a basic agreement resumed at the end of April, and continued until May 16. Though the scheduled negotiation spell did not produce a deal, progress is said to have been made and there are hopes of a deal being reached before the current agreement expires on July 31. 

However in a notice to members posted on the union’s website IATSE reiterated that its negotiators are “not interested in an extension” of the current agreement. The stance has created concern that this summer could see another industry strike after the writers and actors stoppages of last year. 

Topics covered in the third week of basic agreement talks included retirement and health benefits, artificial intelligence, wages and working conditions, said IATSE. Talks between the union and the AMPTP that are scheduled to start next week and run until the end of May will focus on the union’s Area Standards Agreement, which also expires at the end of July. Basic agreement talks are “expected to restart in early June,” said the union, which represents around 170,000 below-the-line entertainment industry workers. 

In a statement on Friday (May 17), IATSE international president Matthew D Loeb said: “We are working toward setting additional bargaining dates to continue to negotiate the deal our members deserve. Talks remain ongoing and we are focused on achieving the goals we came to the table with: improved wages and safer working conditions, consistent funding for our benefit plans, reasonable AI and subcontracting protections, and appropriate enhancements to our Videotape Agreement and Sideletters.”



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