Saturday, July 24, 2010

Oncoming "Interesting Times"

As expected, the Teamsters-AMPTP negotiations went nowhere yesterday.

Talks between the studios and Hollywood Teamsters Local 399 ended late Friday night with no movement and no new negotiating sessions scheduled.

The union meets in Burbank early Sunday morning, where the leadership is expected to seek -- and obtain -- a strike authorization vote from members.

That authorization would, in turn, allow union leaders to call a strike at any time after the July 31 expiration of the contract between the union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, representing the studios and independent producers. ...

This could have ramifications for everybody else working in the movie industry.

Live-action television work could come to a halt, and movie shoots impacted. (As I said earlier, I doubt it will affect animation very much.) The biggest longer-term hit, if a Teamsters' strike last awhile, might well be the cash flows into union and guild pension and health plans.

The great irony here is, this hair ball isn't really about large dollar amounts. The difference between the parties is 1% in wage minimums, a relative pittance as these things go. So it ain't really the money.

What it's about is keeping the line drawn at 2% wage boosts -- the norm over the past eighteen months -- for the next round of labor agreements. (It's also about who has the biggest genitalia. Leo Reed, head of the drivers, insists that his folks get the same deal that the IA and the above-the-line guilds got in their last deals, and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers are saying "That train has pulled out, Mr. Reed. The new normal is 2%.")

So here we are. I guess we will shortly see who blinks first.


Anonymous said...

Stopping live action brings bad tidings to vfx. I hope it doesn't go that way.

Anonymous said...

More work for animation?? :)

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