IATSE Negotiations With AMPTP Stretch Past Deadline as Strike Threat Looms

Negotiations between West Coast IATSE locals and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on a new master film and TV contract have stretched past the Sept. 10 deadline as union members become more vocal about the possibility of a strike.

Little progress has been made since negotiations between the union and the AMPTP resumed on Aug. 17. IATSE is pushing for more funding for its health plan and pension plan, among other agenda items.

The basic agreement was set to expire on July 31, but was been extended to Sept. 10 to allow for further negotiations. The union’s 13 West Coast locals have asserted that the AMPTP, which represents the major studio and network conglomerates that dominate Hollywood, refuses to make additional concessions on wages, work rules and other issues.

The talks are being conducted under a media blackout. IATSE representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment. An AMPTP rep declined to comment.

“I want better hours, I want better pay, I want a better quality of life, for everyone,” wrote costume designer Charlese Antoinette Jones on Instagram. “We shouldn’t have to work this much and barely be able to pay our bills.”

Cinematographer MJ Shilling also shared he supported strike action. Shilling wrote, “As we draw nearer to the end of negotiations with the AMPTP, I feel the necessity to stand and show my support with my Brothers, Sisters, and Kin. It is imperative we take a stand against unhealthy and physically/mentally toxic working conditions, as well as the growing disparity in our wages to the ever growing economic climate. As much as I would love an agreement to be reached cordially, I will stand proud and strong should we be called to Strike.”

The union, which represents over 150,000 workers across 13 Hollywood locals is also pushing to address the long hours crew members face during production while preparing its members for possible work stoppage. Mitchell Travers, costume designer on “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” echoed Jones’ sentiment in a social media post. “We love our jobs but deserve a more balanced life,” he wrote.

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