Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Negotiations

The last day scheduled for the IATSE-AMPTP contract talks, and we have touch down...

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees agreed to a tentative three-year contract with the major Hollywood studios Wednesday, becoming the fifth union this year to conclude a deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

The proposed agreement was modeled on similar pacts negotiated by writers, directors and the smaller actors union, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, that established pay terms for programs streamed on the Web.

Although terms were not disclosed, the pact was said to include a modest hike in union minimums and increased contributions to the union's health and pension plan as well as benefit cuts in response to rising health insurance costs ...

"This was a tough negotiation during tough economic times, but both sides worked hard and negotiated reasonably to come to this agreement," IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb said in a statement.

Those of us in the negotiations know the details of the deal, but we're keeping our yaps shut until the negotiating parties roll out their press releases.

Considering the times, the deal is a solid one (hell, even not considering the times.) It wasn't particularly easy to get to, and my hat is off to IA Prez Loeb, who hung in there and negotiated skillfully to a successful conclusion.

It was aslo helpful, I think, that SAG is still out there with its own issues. As a union mucky-mucky said to me as we packed up to go home:

"The producers wanted a deal with us, wanted it a lot. They had big motivation to go into the SAG talks tomorrow with every other labor group on board the original DGA deal. They had to get it done today, and they did."

Two things happened at the AMPTP over the last two weeks. The International had the negotiating chops with its leadership, to nail a contract down, and it had some useful leverage.

Deal memo to follow.


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