Teamsters Local 399 and the Basic Crafts unions have reached an early agreement on terms for a new film and tv contract.

The three-year pact, which covers nearly 4,000 industry drivers, laborers, plasterers and electrical workers, must be ratified by the unions’ members. Union officials say they expect their members to ratify it in three to four weeks.

Hollywood unions covered by the pact include Teamsters Local 399, Intl. Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 40, Plasterers Local 755 and Studio Utility Employes Local 724.

The new pact calls for a 4% pay hike in each year of the contract for most job classifications.

Some members of Teamsters Local 399, the largest union covered by the contract, will receive pay increases considerably higher than 4%.

Dispatchers and second on-production gang bosses will receive a dollar-an-hour pay boost in addition to their 4% general pay hikes. This, Teamsters officials say, was done to create “more equitable adjustments based on skills.”

The wages of a small group of drivers – those who drive vehicles requiring only regular (Class C) drivers licenses – will be frozen at the current rates for the term of the new contract or increased only slightly during the second and third years.

Teamsters officials, however, note that they were successful in fending off management’s proposals for deep cuts in these less-skilled drivers’ wages. They also say drivers of studio station wagons, whose wages will be frozen, may yet get a pay raise if significant increases are won in upcoming talks for a new couriers contract.

In addition to the general pay increases, the unions also won a major increase in dental benefits.

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