Hollywood IATSE signs AMPTP deal

Theater Alliance, majors agree on 3-year pact

The 15 Hollywood-based locals of the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees have ratified a new three-year deal with the congloms covering about 35,000 below-the-line members.

IATSE made the announcement Friday. Results were not a surprise, as several individual locals had already disclosed that the contract had been voted up.

The Hollywood Basic Agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers will go into effect Aug. 1. IATSE — which has typically negotiated its deals long before expiration — reached its tentative agreement with the AMPTP in November after launching its first round of talks in April.

IATSE national president Matthew Loeb said in a statement: “We have delivered a strong contract in a very chaotic economic climate. We feel we have given our members the best protection we can at a time when the bottom is falling out of a lot of traditional business models. We look forward to three years of labor stability and a commitment to keeping our members working.”

The ratification had faced some resistance among rank-and-file members over the new contract’s provision that boosts the number of hours to qualify for heath care coverage during the final year of the pact. Members will have to work 400 hours over six months to qualify, starting in August 2011 — up 33% from the current 300-hour requirement.

The IATSE pact contains terms and conditions that are in line with the general outlines of the AMPTP’s deals last year with the DGA, WGA, AFTRA and the casting directors, including on new media. SAG still has not made its feature-primetime deal even though its pact expired last June 30.

The IATSE pact calls for 3% annual wage increases and 35¢ yearly hikes in hourly contribution rates for health and pension.

In a statement issued Friday, the AMPTP said the ratification vote is “good news for the entire industry.

“This is the fifth major entertainment labor agreement ratified over the last year, and it will help bring stability to our business at a time of enormous economic uncertainty,” it added. “We look forward to working with IATSE members – and with everyone else in our industry – to emerge from today’s significant challenges with a strong and growing business.”

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