A threatened strike on major TV and film production was averted Saturday night, just hours before a midnight deadline.
The association representing producers made a tentative deal with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employee (IATSE), a union representing roughly 60,000 film and television workers, including technicians and craftspeople, IATSE announced Saturday.
“I can confirm we reached an agreement that will keep the industry working,” Jarryd Gonzales, spokesman for the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), said in a statement to CNN. “At this time, we are not sharing details of the agreement.”
AMPTP is the group representing producers.
IATSE said its strike authorization was the first in its history to threaten a nationwide walkout. Negotiations involved a number of disagreements, including demands for higher pay, improvements to on-set conditions (such as longer rest and meal breaks) and larger contributions to health and pension benefits.
An eleventh-hour deal between producers and a union representing technicians and set workers to avoid a West Coast strike is like something out of a movie, union leadership said.
“This is a Hollywood ending,” IATSE International president Matthew Loeb said in a written statement. “Our members stood firm. They’re tough and united.”
“We went toe to toe with some of the richest and most powerful entertainment and tech companies in the world, and we have now reached an agreement with the AMPTP that meets our members’ needs,” he added.
Neither the union nor AMPTP released exact details of the tentative pact, which must be ratified by union membership. However, IATSE said the deal includes “a living wage for the lowest-paid earners” as well as “retroactive wage increases of 3% annually.”
“Increased meal period penalties,” “daily rest periods of 10 hours without exclusions,” and “Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday Holiday added to schedule” were also included in the tentative agreement among other provisions.
IATSE vice president Mike Miller argued TV and film producers will also benefit from the deal.
“This settlement allows pre-production, production and post-production to continue without interruption,” Miller said. “Workers should have improved morale and be more alert. Health and safety standards have been upgraded.”
While the deal prevents a Hollywood walkout, the union says negotiations continue on a separate contract called the Area Standards Agreement for people who work on films and TV shows produced in other parts of the country, including New Mexico, New York, Georgia and Louisiana.
The last major Hollywood strike was in 2007 after the Writers Guild of America failed to reach an agreement with AMPTP. It impacted everything from movie productions and TV series to late-night shows and lasted 100 days.
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