Eliminating the possibility of a West Coast strike this summer, members of the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees have ratified a three-year contract covering 35,000 below-the-line members.
Ratification of the Hollywood Basic Agreement had been expected as the only opposition to the pact came from two of the 18 locals. Thursday’s announcement also marked a renewal of IATSE president Tom Short’s hostilities toward leaders of the Screen Actors Guild and the Writers Guild of America.
In his announcement of the deal, Short singled out SAG and WGA for allowing non-working members to serve in elected posts. SAG has no working-in-the-trade rules once members join but the WGA West requires candidates to maintain active status by working within seven years after joining and within four years after that.
SAG and the WGA did not respond Thursday to Short’s latest comments.
IATSE did not release official results but confirmed that 16 of the 18 IATSE locals endorsed the deal, which goes into effect Aug. 1. Based on electoral votes allocated each local, the contract received 253 electoral votes for ratification and 114 against.
IATSE’s two largest West Coast locals, each with 5,700 members, voted against the pact — Local 44, which reps prop makers and effects technicians; and Local 600, which reps camera crews and publicists. The exec boards of both locals had recommended against ratification with Local 44 leaders pointing to hikes in healthcare co-pays and Local 600 objecting to the elimination of the camera operator position.
Separately, IATSE Local 839 announced Thursday it had reached an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers on a new three-year deal that mirrors key gains in the Hollywood Basic Agreement. The pact, which covers about 2,000 animation artists and writers, received unanimous endorsement from the negotiating committee and must be ratified by members to go into effect.