Hollywood Basic Crafts Unions Announce Tentative Agreement

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Update, Feb. 9: Teamsters Local 399 and Laborers Local 724 have ratified the agreement. More below.

A coalition of Hollywood crafts unions announced on Friday evening that they have reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year contract.

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The coalition of five bargaining groups represents about 7,500 electricians, drivers, plumbers, laborers, animal trainers and others. The three-year agreement must still be approved by a vote of the membership.

The agreement provides a 3% wage increase in each of the three years, as well as additional funds for the health and pension plans. The deal also provides penalties if productions “invade” the mandated 54-hour weekend. The union coalition released a one-page information sheet on Monday, and are expected to reveal more terms of the contract to members ahead of the vote.

The negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers began in December, shortly after the 60,000 members of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees narrowly ratified their new contract. The Hollywood Basic Crafts unions — Teamsters Local 399, IBEW Local 40, Studio Plumbers Local 78, Laborers Local 724 and Studio Plasterers Local 755 — bargain their own agreement separately from IATSE.

The Basic Crafts negotiations brought none of the fireworks of the IATSE talks. The latter saw a breakdown in talks, a nationwide strike authorization vote, national media attention and a vigorous campaign to reject the agreement. The Basic Crafts talks saw a single three-paragraph press release.

According to the release, the bargaining committee unanimously recommends a “yes” vote. Lindsay Dougherty, recording secretary of Teamsters Local 399, led the negotiations for the Basic Crafts unions, while AMPTP President Carol Lombardini led the talks for the studios.

The AMPTP is set to resume its talks with the Animation Guild, IATSE Local 839, on Feb. 14. Those negotiations got underway on Nov. 29, but have been paused since early December. The animators are seeking to increase pay for animation writers, who make significantly less than their live-action counterparts, among other concessions.

Update, Feb. 9: Teamsters Local 399 has ratified the agreement, with 89% voting yes and 11% voting no. Turnout was 67%. Laborers Local 724 (LiUNA), voted unanimously in support of the contract at an in-person meeting on Tuesday, with 40% turnout. The other three unions are set to vote later this week.

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