Hollywood Crews and Studios Reach Tentative Agreement, Averting Major Strike

The union representing the majority of film and television crews working behind the scenes has reached a preliminary agreement with studios covering approximately 50,000 of its members. This development reduces the likelihood of another major strike that could halt production, following a tumultuous year of labor issues in Hollywood.

In a joint statement released Tuesday night, both parties announced the agreement, which will last for three years.

In an email to its members, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) announced that the tentative agreement, which still requires approval through voting, includes the salary increases and protections concerning artificial intelligence that they had been advocating for.

The Basic Agreement, which impacts approximately 50,000 crew members from 13 different union locals based on the West Coast, covers a diverse range of roles including art directors, set painters, editors, camera technicians, costume designers, hair stylists, and make-up artists.

Negotiations are still ongoing for a different agreement that impacts approximately 20,000 crew members nationwide.

The intense strikes by writers and actors last year, along with prolonged negotiations by IATSE in 2021 that almost led to a strike after the contract’s expiration, heightened concerns about potential work stoppages in 2024. These events occurred in an industry that has not fully recovered from the shutdowns that persisted through much of 2023.

Last week, actors such as Mark Ruffalo and Kerry Washington sent a letter to the AMPTP, advocating for a fair contract for crew members.

Various local branches had already settled individual agreements addressing their specific concerns. The Basic Agreement impacts crew members across various job categories.

On Tuesday night, IATSE reached an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents major studios, streaming services, and production companies such as Disney, Netflix, Warner Bros. Discovery, and Amazon Prime. This alliance, which faced challenges in reaching agreements with writers and actors during extended strikes last year, has now reached a tentative Basic Agreement nearly a month before the previous contract expired.

According to the communication sent to IATSE members, additional information about the tentative agreement will be disclosed later this week. The agreement includes enhanced protections related to Artificial Intelligence, ensuring that no employee will be compelled to use AI prompts in a way that would lead to the displacement of any covered employee.

The agreement outlines annual pay raises of 7%, 4%, and 3.5% over the next three years. Additionally, workers who exceed 15 hours in a day will receive triple their regular pay. The deal also includes contributions from studios to address a deficit in the union’s health insurance fund, according to the letter.


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