Members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees will begin voting next week on a proposed contact agreement that was reached just as the union was prepared to stage a walkout that would have frozen TV and movie production.
According to IATSE, voting will begin on a pair of contract proposals – – the basic agreement and an area standards agreement applying largely to workers outside the Los Angeles area — beginning Nov. 12, with the results set to be announced Nov. 15.
Combined, the two agreements cover about 60,000 film and TV workers nationwide.
When the main contract agreement was announced last month, the union said it includes 3% annual wage hikes, improvements in pay and conditions on streaming productions, observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, and a rest period of 10 hours between daily shoots and 54 hours on weekends.
Ratification voting will be conducted online among the union’s 13 locals on the West Coast, for the basic agreement, and with 23 locals elsewhere on the area standards agreement.
There have been rumblings in ensuing weeks that some members remained unhappy with the proposed contract and could vote against it. But IATSE President Matthew Loeb hailed the proposal.
“This agreement, and the contract campaign before it, should serve as a model for other workers in the entertainment and tech industries, for workers employed by gaming companies and for so-called `gig workers’ … We’re the original gig workers,” Loeb said when the tentative deal was announced.
“Like non-union, freelance workers, many of our highly skilled members go to work at different times, for different employers, at different locations,” Loeb said. “The difference is, our people have health care and retirement benefits, can negotiate for better wages and conditions and have a voice and power because they work together through their union.”
Members of the union had overwhelmingly authorized Loeb to call a strike if a deal had not been reached with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The tentative agreement was reached within days of a potential walkout.