On Friday, the IATSE and TAG held an informational meeting in Disney Feature Animation's first-floor theater, explaining about the oncoming negotiations for the Disney-IA contract. (The agreement ends in October, so now seems like a fortuitous time to commence talks on the next three-year deal.)
We spent a lot of time talking about the mechanics of negotiations, the state of the industry, and the studios' current attitudes about negotiations with labor organizations. (Can you say "hard line"? I knew you could ...) There were complaints about Disney's recent wage rollbacks. We explained how unions don't deal with overscale salary cuts but only pay minimums; that didn't make anybody feel happier about the corporate belt-tightening now being done at their expense.
There was concern about changes to the health plan ("The MPIPHP had to fill a big deficit" was the answer), and relief that the pension accumulations and benefits are the same as before. One attendee button-holed me to talk about her struggle getting enough hours to hang on to health coverage: "I just made the number of hours I need, but I'm being laid off in a week or two, and don't know when I'm coming back ..."
The joys of project-to-project employment are never-ending ....
Before we started our meeting in the big theater, the crew of The Princess and the Frog had one there. As everyone filed out, people told me that:
* There a few weeks left on cleanup and ink and paint, then the visuals are done.
* A lot of the music has been laid down in scoring sessions and sounds great, and that there will be a few more sessions in September.
A large part of the P and F crew is gone ... and waiting for Winnie the Pooh to be written and boarded so they can come back to work.