EXCLUSIVE updated with AMPTP response statement: IATSE is now gearing up for a second strike against film and TV production companies. With the union and its 13 West Coast studio locals already threatening to strike over terms for a new Hollywood Basic Agreement, IATSE is now seeking a second strike authorization vote for a separate contract covering film and TV work in much of the rest of the country. That contract is called the “Area Standards Agreement” and covers 23 locals outside of Los Angeles.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers responded with a Thursday; read it below.
Both contracts – the Basic Agreement and the Area Standards Agreement – expired on July 31, but were extended, the union said, “in an effort to exhaust every opportunity to make a deal.” The Basic Agreement talks with management’s AMPTP broke off on Monday, prompting the union to seek strike authorization from members of the 13 West Coast studio locals. The next day, talks broke off for the Area Standards Agreement, which covers 23 different locals outside L.A. that represent many of the same types of production workers and crafts.
“Negotiations for the Area Standards Agreement have ground to a halt,” IATSE president Matt Loeb and the leaders of the 23 locals said in a letter to their members dated Sept. 21. “Today the AMPTP informed the IATSE that they have no further changes to their last position. This failure to continue negotiating can only be interpreted one way. They simply will not address the core issues we have repeatedly advocated for from the beginning. As a result, we will now proceed with a strike authorization vote to demonstrate our commitment to achieving the change that is long overdue in this industry.”
See the letter and all the signers here.
The AMPTP said Thursday that it remains “committed to reaching an agreement at the bargaining table,” but accused the union of “publishing false information about the negotiations” that “unnecessarily polarizes the bargaining parties and elevates tensions at a time when we should be focused on finding ways to avoid a strike.”
Here is the group’s full statement:
“The IATSE issued a news release last night stating the AMPTP had advised it on Monday September 20 the AMPTP does not intend to make a counteroffer to the IATSE’s recent proposals for renewal of the IATSE Area Standards Agreement covering production areas outside of Los Angeles.
“In fact, IATSE and the AMPTP have not communicated about the Area Standards Agreement negotiations since those negotiations were suspended on September 3, just days after they began. At that time, both parties agreed they would continue negotiations on the Area Standards Agreement sometime after the Hollywood IATSE Basic Agreement bargaining resumed on September 9. The AMPTP made moves just before the parties agreed to recess. The IATSE has yet to respond.
“It is unfortunate the IATSE has gone down the path of publishing false information about the negotiations. This approach unnecessarily polarizes the bargaining parties and elevates tensions at a time when we should be focused on finding ways to avoid a strike. A strike will have a devastating impact on the industry and inevitably will result in thousands of IATSE members losing their income, failing to qualify for health insurance benefits, jeopardizing funding for the pension plan and disrupting production. The Producers are committed to reaching an agreement at the bargaining table that balances the needs of both parties and will keep the industry working.”
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