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Teamsters Warn of Studios’ “Fear Mongering” Amid Contract Talks Pause

The Teamsters have indicated a willingness to extend negotiations with the studios, urging the AMPTP to make more effort if a deal is to be reached.

“Next week, we hope to see the AMPTP ready to sit back down at the table and be prepared to bargain and ‘care’ about the issues our members face,” stated the union, which represents nearly 7,000 members, in a note distributed this afternoon.

“As shared before, we have no interest in negotiating against ourselves. We are prepared to seek additional dates to have our members’ core priorities heard, understood, and acted on by the employer’s if they are not prepared to do so by July 19th.”

In a message shared before Independence Day, the Basic Crafts updated members on the latest negotiations led by Carol Lombardini and expressed concerns about potential setbacks. “We expect over the next several weeks to see the companies attempt to use fear mongering tactics against the reasonable terms and conditions our members are fighting for in these negotiations,” said a spokesperson for Teamsters Local 399. The negotiating committee is led by Hollywood Teamsters chief Lindsay Dougherty.

Throughout weeks of on-and-off discussions, the two sides did not meet on Wednesday. Due to the July 4th holiday, both parties are taking the rest of the week off from negotiations. With the Basic Crafts contract set to expire on July 31, discussions between Teamsters Local 399, LiUNA! Local 724, IBEW Local 40, OPCMIA Local 755, UA Local 78, and the AMPTP are scheduled to resume on July 8.

With IATSE securing tentative agreements for a new LA-centric Basic Agreement and the Area Standards Agreement recently, the Basic Crafts deal remains the final piece of the labor puzzle in Hollywood for now. IATSE’s deal, which is pending member ratification, included pay increases similar to those achieved by SAG-AFTRA last fall, reducing the threat of a strike for the struggling industry.

The priorities outlined by the Hollywood Teamsters and Basic Crafts in their negotiations include improved working conditions and increased compensation. Additionally, their stance involves AI guidelines and contributions to pension and health funds, mirroring the high-priority demands previously sought by IATSE.

The Hollywood Basic Crafts and the AMPTP concluded this week’s discussions after receiving counterproposals from the companies. While the AMPTP enjoys a long holiday weekend, the Hollywood Basic Crafts continue to work on their counterproposals, aiming to resume talks on Monday, July 8. Current agreements are set to expire on July 31, with negotiation dates scheduled until July 19.

Following the announcement of IATSE’s tentative agreements last week, the Hollywood Basic Crafts have seen strong support from Hollywood unions, guilds, and workforce members. The unions appreciate this solidarity and remain focused on fighting for their members’ core priorities across Hollywood Labor.

Over the coming weeks, the Basic Crafts anticipate the companies might use fear tactics against the reasonable terms and conditions being pursued in these negotiations. As core contributors to the Hollywood workforce, including drivers, electricians, laborers, location professionals, plasterers, caterers, plumbers, animal trainers, and more, the unions assert that their members should not suffer due to companies’ poor business decisions.

The Teamsters hope the AMPTP will return to the negotiation table next week prepared to address and care about the issues faced by union members. They reiterated their readiness to seek additional negotiation dates to ensure members’ core priorities are acknowledged and acted upon if the employers are not prepared to do so by July 19th.

Source: Deadline, People