A major Hollywood union voted to ratify a couple of contracts to improve working conditions for production workers, albeit to a limited extent, after previously voting to authorize a strike due to stalled negotiations with major studios.
The International Alliance of Theater Stage Employees (IATSE) announced today Its members voted by a narrow margin to ratify both the Basic Agreement and the Area Standards Agreement, three-year contracts that included provisions for things like meal times and breaks, increased base salary for the lowest paid union members and better. conditions for the productions of the transmission services. . Both votes were remarkably close, and the vote on the Basic Agreement, in particular, is controversial.
IATSE uses a voting system similar to an electoral college (delegates are assigned to local IATSE unions based on their number of members). Delegate votes were yes for both contracts, and 52 percent of members voted in favor of the Area Standards Agreement (48 percent voted no). But the popular vote in favor of the Basic Agreement shuddered to 50.4 percent no to 49.6 percent yes.
The union said 72 percent of its 63,209 members, or 45,402 total members, participated in the vote.
“Our goal was to achieve fair contracts that work for IATSE members in television and film, addressing quality of life issues and working conditions such as breaks and meal breaks,” said IATSE International President Matthew Loeb at a statement. “We met our objectives for this round of negotiations and built a solid foundation for future deals.”
Was a high risk vote by the union, which previously voted in favor authorize a strike when negotiations with the Alliance of Film and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents studios such as Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Disney, among others, stalled. That strike was narrowly averted in October after the parties agreements reached a few days before the strike began.
“From start to finish, from preparation to ratification, this has been a democratic process to win the best contracts,” Loeb said. “The vigorous debate, high turnout and closed elections indicate that we have an unprecedented movement-building opportunity to educate members about our collective bargaining process and drive greater participation in our union in the long term.”
While streaming was a small part of a much larger push for better job protections for production workers, the negotiations highlighted how quickly the industry has evolved amid the streaming wars. The union argued that streamers were paying less for production work, and part of the contract terms include provisions for higher rates based primarily on the type of content being created.