Cartoonists and studios reach deal

3-year pact set for September vote

Negotiators for Hollywood’s 2,000 union cartoonists have reached a tentative agreement with studios for a new three-year contract.

The proposed pact will be submitted for ratification by members of the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Local 839 during the second week of September, with ballots due back two weeks later.

Details of the pact were not available. “There are no rollbacks in the agreement, and that’s something for members to be pleased with,” said Steve Hulett, chief negotiator and business agent for the local.

The union, which last struck in 1982 with a 10-week work stoppage, has seen membership erode by about 1,000 over the past three years as studios cut local work forces and sent more work overseas. Disney, DreamWorks, Fox and Warner have all reduced their domestic staffs.

Studios and the union, which is part of the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, began negotiations late last year. Local 839 is composed mostly of artists, with 15% in technical areas and writers in 8%-9% of the jobs.

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