IATSE Contract Details To Be Unveiled This Weekend, Union Says – Deadline



EXCLUSIVE: A week after IATSE struck a strike stopping tentative agreement with the studios, streamers and networks for a new contract, members of the union will learn the actual details of the deal

“The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) will be sent to you as soon as it is completed and received from legal staff of both sides,” said a missive sent out to Local 800 this evening. “You will then have the detail notes and the contract language,” Art Director Guild chief Nelson Parker and other Local execs added.

Heading towards a ratification vote in the coming weeks, the plan is that Local 800 will unveil the fine print of the hard-fought three-year agreement at the virtual ADG Fall General Membership meeting on October 23. “Those details and comparisons to where we were, what was asked for, and what we won will be presented,” the Local 800 officials said. “We hope you will join us online to hear firsthand what is in the deal.”

As union leadership pitches members on a majority Yes vote, other locals are planning to have town halls or similar information sessions to dive into the details of a deal that has been pretty much hidden from view since the Matt Loeb-led IATSE came to a pact with the Carol Lombardini-led AMPTP in the afternoon of October 16.

In emails and other correspondence put out after Deadline broke the news of the deal on Saturday, IATSE provided its nearly 60,000 strong below-the-line members with bullet points of the agreement – which pleased some, and rub others the wrong way:

• Living wage achieved

• Improved wages and working conditions for streaming

• Retroactive scale wage Increases of 3% annually

• Employer Funded Benefits for the term

• Increased meal period penalties including prevailing rate

• Daily Rest Periods of 10 hours without exclusions

• Weekend Rest Periods of 54 and 32 hours

• Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday Holiday

• Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives

• 13th and 14th checks for pre-August 2009 retirees

• Additional MPI Hours for On-Call Employees

• Expansion of Sick Leave Benefit to the entire country

Once the initial gasps of joy subsided on Saturday night that, after months and months of talks and an expired old contract, the two sides had reached a deal just over 30 hours before the IATSE set strike deadline of October 18 12:01 AM, a number of voices of dissent rang out on social media. Vacillating between accusing the union leadership settling for scraps, to the status quo being maintained, streamers getting away without paying their fair share and vital shift and turnaround times demands being ignored, the criticism even encouraged some members to vote no on an as-yet unspecified ratification.

Amidst all that, IATSE officials felt the heat even as they had averted the first overall strike in their nearly 130-year history. However, as the paperwork came together in a traditionally impatient industry, they could only assure members that all would be made clear and specific once the final wording was in place.

The hard reality of the process was in many way anticlimactic after the past two weeks, when, fueled by a 98% strike authorization vote result that was made public on October 4, IATSE’s united front sent a shockwave through corner office Hollywood.

Suddenly shaken from the nugatory of the stalled talks, the producers and powers-that-be finally realized this narrative was looking a lot like a labor Cuban Missile Crisis. With a team of elders including real life Tom Hagen Ken Ziffren, Disney TV boss Peter Rice and the DGA’s former executive national director Jay Roth brought in to offer consul and guidance most of the deal came together fairly quickly over October 14 and 15.

Still, despite the optimistic smoke signals both parties were leaking out, the situation was a deft calibration of realism and timing – with IATSE feeling they had the momentum on their side as they hung the picket line placards of Damocles over the producers and the prospect of most of Hollywood shutting down this so-called “Striketober.”

Now, we are all working for the weekend – figuratively.

As we wait, here is what the influential International Cinematographers Guild put out today to keep everyone focused:

David Robb contributed to this report


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