Teamsters Local 399 “Ready To Fight” For A New Film And TV Contract

Hollywood’s Teamsters Local 399 says it’s “ready to fight” for a new film and TV contract, negotiations for which have been delayed because it took IATSE longer than expected to arrive at terms for its own new film and TV pact. The Teamsters and the Basic Crafts unions, which will jointly negotiate an agreement with management’s AMPTP, have agreed to extend the expiration date of their current contract until October 15. 

“We have extended the contract to ensure labor peace until we’ve had a chance to bargain and let the members decide if they approve or not,” Steve Dayan, Local 399’s secretary-treasurer, told Deadline. The current pact had been set to expire on July 31, and if a new deal is reached, the terms will be retroactive to that date.

Dayan Teamsters Local 399

“Like us, all of the Basic Crafts unions unanimously voted to extend their agreements to October 15 since our successor contracts could not be completed by July 31, 2018, and we wanted sufficient time to properly negotiate our agreements before sending it out for a  ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote,” Dayan told his members on the local’s website. “At this point we have not even begun to negotiate so we do not have any information as to what the actual new provisions will be until negotiations conclude.”

In the run-up to bargaining, Local 399 surveyed its members about what they’d most like to see accomplished in the upcoming contract talks. Dayan thanked his members for their input, noting that the local’s Driver and Coordinator Steering Committees have been meeting over the past several months “to ensure that we are well prepared embarking on these negotiations.”

If so-called “pattern bargaining” holds, however, management will expect the Teamsters and Basic Crafts to accept a deal similar to the one IATSE recently agreed to. That deal, which IATSE president Matt Loeb has called a “huge victory,” includes what he says will be an additional $153 million in employer contributions to the union’s health plan, and a new funding mechanism for theatrical-length streaming content that will result in “additional monies for our pension plan.” IATSE, Teamsters Local 399 and the Basic Crafts all share the same pension and health plan. Of the IATSE’s 13 West Coast studio locals, only the Editors Guild has come out recommending rejection of the deal.

“We are ready to fight for the membership!” Dayan said on the website, telling his members, Your voices have been heard loud and clear.”

The Basic Crafts unions include the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 40, Plumbers and Pipe Fitters Local 78, Studio Utility Employees Local 724, and Plasterers and Cement Masons Local 755.

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