Production Union, Studios Reach Tentative Deal, But Outcome Of Vote Uncertain

The union representing some 60,000 television and movie production workers reached a three-year agreement with studio owners on Saturday, averting a strike that threatened to halt productions throughout the country starting this morning.

However, the outcome of the vote that will be needed to ratify the agreement appears uncertain.

Some details of the deal between the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), but according to an IATSE post, it includes a 3% rate increase every year for the duration of the contract that is also retroactive, improved wages and working conditions specifically for streaming productions, a mandatory 10-hour turnaround or break between shifts, weekend rest periods of 54 hours and 32 hours, increased health and pension plan funding, and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, among other terms.

Production work will now proceed as lawyers draw up the formal agreement that will be up for a vote, which could take weeks.

In their online statement, IATSE leadership declared that "Our solidarity, at both the leadership and rank and file level, was the primary reason that no local was left behind and every priority was addressed."

IATSE President Matthew Loeb also issued a statement describing the deal as "a Hollywood ending."

But many IATSE members have been expressing dissatisfaction with the terms known thus far on social media and in interviews.

“Basically nothing has changed. I have not heard a single person saying they will vote yes,” Ernesto Lomeli, a director of photography based in Los Angeles, asserted in an interview with Variety.

Some members “were hoping for more than 10 hours, as well as other wage and residual provisions that are not in the deal,” according to the report. “But they also wanted to make a broader point about conditions on set, which many find to be inhumane and unsustainable.”

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