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Teamsters reach deal with studios

New contract will run through July 31, 2010

Studios and networks have reached a tentative three-year deal with Teamster drivers and four craft unions, a few hours after the expiration of the employee contract.

The deal came early Wednesday morning following two days of negotiations at the headquarters of the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers. Terms were not disclosed and the deal — which will run through July 31, 2010 — must be ratified by union members in order to go into effect.

The looming expiration of the Basic Crafts contract had put negotiations between the Writers Guild of America and the AMPTP on hold following two sessions in mid-July. No date’s been set to resume bargaining on a new WGA contract to replace the cur-rent pact, which expires Oct. 31. The Basic Crafts contract covers Teamsters Local 399 and the four other Basic Crafts unions — Local 40 of the Intl. Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; Local 724 of the Studio Utility Employees; Local 755 of Plasterers and Cement Masons; and Local 78 of Journeymen & Apprentices of the Plumbing & Pipe Fitting Industry.

Teamster drivers are the largest component of the locals repped at the negotiations, with about 4,000 members, while the Studio Utility Employees number more than 1,000. Both sides have observed a news blackout since negotiations launched in February.

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