Teamsters Local 399 and the other four basic craft Unions reached a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) on a new three-year contract it was jointly announced late Friday afternoon.
The basic elements are in line with the deal struck in April between IATSE’s 14 Hollywood locals and the studios, including an annual 2 percent wage increase and a substantial increase in the dollars the entertainment companies will put into the unions’ health plans over the next three years to make up for a huge looming deficit.
With the current contract set to expire July 31, the clock was ticking as negotiations resumed on Monday after an 11-week hiatus following adjournment of the first round of talks in early April. The new contract begins Aug. 1 and runs through July 31, 2015.
“I believe the tentative agreement is fair and equitable for both parties,” said Leo T. Reed, chairman of the basic crafts negotiating committee. “It is my sincere desire to keep as much production in Los Angeles as possible.” (In addition to the Teamsters, the Basic Crafts include the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local No. 40, Plumbers, Local No. 78, Studio Utility Employees, Local No. 724, and Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons, Local No. 755.)
In response to the agreement, the AMPTP said: “The tentative agreement with the Basic Crafts Unions calls for additional funding of the health plan and the same 2 percent annual wage increase as has been negotiated in all recent AMPTP agreements. The deals will help keep productions working without interruption in the Los Angeles area and, for Teamsters Local 399, throughout the 13 Western states as the industry continues to adapt to the challenges of producing in today’s market.”
The last pact negotiated by the Teamsters with AMPTP was cut from the usual three-year length to two years so expiration of both union groups’ contracts would coincide. The tactic was part of a strategy to leverage negotiating power in dealing with the studios.