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Hollywood Teamsters, Basic Crafts Unions Launch Contract Negotiations

Hollywood Teamsters and four other Basic Crafts Unions are launching negotiations on Wednesday with producers on a successor deal to the master contract.

The expiration of the current deal, which covers about 5,000 below-the-line employees, was recently extended from July 31 to Oct. 15 by the unions and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The deal covers the Hollywood-based Teamsters Local 399, which includes drivers as well as animal wranglers; the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (Local No. 40); Plumbers and Pipefitters (Local No. 78); Studio Utility Employees (Local No. 724); and Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ International Association (Local No. 755).

Steve Dayan, Local 399’s secretary-treasurer, said in a recent posting on the local’s website that negotiators have been prepping for the talks in recent months.

“We are ready to fight for the membership!” he said. “Your voices have been heard loud and clear.”

The contract extension came after leaders of the 12 of the 13 West locals of the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees agreed on July 26 to a new three-year deal — five days before that contract expired. Leaders of the Editors Guild, which operates as Local 700, have strongly opposed the deal, which will go out for ratification next month.

“Like us, all of the Basic Crafts unions unanimously voted to extend their agreements to Oct. 15 since our successor contracts could not be completed by July 31, 2018, and we wanted sufficient time to properly negotiate our agreements before sending it out for a  ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote,” Dayan said on the local’s website. “At this point, we have not even begun to negotiate so we do not have any information as to what the actual new provisions will be until negotiations conclude.”

The AMPTP, which serves as the negotiating arm for studios and networks, had no comment.

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