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B.C. showbiz unions pact with producers

Deal worth US$476 million in wages over three years

VANCOUVER — Reps of 10,000 unionized film and TV workers here have inked a pact with producers aimed at ensuring labor peace in British Columbia until March 31, 2003.

The Canadian employers associated with the B.C. Producers’ Branch of the Canadian Film and Television Production Assn. (BC-CFTPA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), headquartered in Encino, Calif., signed the agreement with the three orgs repped by the B.C. Council of Film Unions — the Union of Motion Picture Studio Production Technicians IATSE Local 891, Teamsters Union Local No. 155 and Intl. Photographers IATSE Local 669. It is the third master agreement since the council was formed in 1996.

“The deal is worth C$700 million ($476 million) in direct wages over the next three years,” said Tom Adair, executive director of the council. It provides a combined 3.5% wage increase in the first year, and 3% in each of the final two years for the behind-the-scene workers.

Continued growth

“This means we will have continued growth at the pace we are setting (in) the most rapidly growing industry in British Columbia right now,” said Ian Waddell, British Columbia’s minister of small business, tourism and culture. “Our $680 million success last year in the production industry is in large part due to labor peace.”

The British Columbia government is considering stepping up a PR campaign to win over Vancouver citizens who are voicing complaints about traffic prob-lems caused by location shoots proliferating around the city.

“I want to warn you there are going to be trucks on the streets,” said Tom Adair at the announcement of the pact. “That may be inconvenient, but you may see your house in the movies some time.”

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