EXCLUSIVE: Negotiations for a new IATSE basic agreement covering some 43,000 West Coast workers have broken off, though the talks are expected to resume in time to beat the July 31 deadline for negotiating a new deal.
A spokesman for management’s Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers said that the talks are “still in progress,” though the two sides haven’t met in more than a week. “We’re in a press blackout,” he told Deadline.
The talks between the AMPTP and the IATSE and 14 of its West Coast locals got underway in March but “broke off,” a source familiar with the negotiations said, after union reps became dissatisfied with the “lack of facetime” they were getting with employers.
A strike against the studios is unlikely – there’s never been one in the union’s 125-year history – but in the wake of the #MeToo movement, women in several female-dominated crafts such as set decorators and art department coordinators are looking for outsized pay raises to gain some modicum of equality with their higher-paid brethren in historically male-dominated crafts. A member-driven petition in support of pay equity for art department coordinators, who are part of Script Supervisors Local 871, has been signed by more than 2,300 union members who say “it’s time for pay equity.” Currently, they can be paid as little as $15.39 an hour on TV shows.
Issues involving streaming TV shows are also said to be a major issue in the talks.