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California Commercial Shooting Falls as Teamsters Prepare to Strike

Dozens of commercial shoots have scrubbed plans in California as Hollywood members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters prepare to strike the TV commercials industry when their contract expires on Jan. 31.

Members of Teamsters Local 399, which covers 14 Western states, voted 414-36 on Jan. 11 to reject the “last, best, final” offer on a new two-year contract from the Association of Independent Commercial Producers. The local’s website has told members to sign up for picketing duty on Feb. 1.

Matt Miller, president and CEO of the AICP, told Variety that he was disappointed by the preparations for a strike but added that he plans to meet with Teamster negotiators before Jan. 31.

“I’ve heard from dozens of commercial producers who are planning to shoot elsewhere,” he added. “We are already seeing the impact and it’s very unfortunate.”

Steve Dayan, secretary-treasurer of Local 399, told Variety that the union has no alternative but to start planning for a work stoppage since there’s no guarantee that the AICP will revise its offer. “We have to prepare for a strike,” he added.

The members opposed the tentative deal due to its provisions expanding low-budget shoots. Based on the Directors Guild of America’s contract, the maximum daily spend to qualify as low-budget would have been increased to $125,000 from $75,000 a day.

The Teamsters have also set a membership meeting for Jan. 24 “in anticipation of a revised offer” from producers.

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