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IATSE “Committed to Fighting” for “More Humane and Equitable Workplace” in AMPTP Contract Talks


IATSEEarlier this weekBelow the Line reported that IATSE unions had broken off talks for a new contract with the Alliance of Motion Pictures & Television Producers  (AMPTP) last Friday with plans to resume in July.

Deadline has an update to that story, having received a statement from the leaders of the 13 IATSE local protection unions showing solidarity in negotiations for a new film and TV contract with the management. the With negotiations for the contrat which expires July 31 set to resume on July 6 after they broke off last Friday with “very little progress,” the leaders say that the break in negotiations “provides an opportunity for us to engage our members around our priorities.”

In the statement, they say, “We continue to be told that the industry cannot change the way it does business. What we have learned over the past year is that our industry can put the economic welfare, health and safety of workers first and continue to thrive. We stand in solidarity and remain committed to protecting the health and security of our members and their families.”

Some of the key economic issues the unions hope to achieve include more residuals from streaming shows and longer rest periods and increased funding for the Motion Picture Industry Pension & Health Plan, which had been approaching “critical” status before the pandemic.

AMPTPThe union says that since 2016, the “cash residuals” it has bargained for from streaming shows have “jumped from 18.6% of total residuals to more than 43.5% – totaling $215.4 million in cash residuals.”

According to the Deadline story, cash residuals and streaming residuals have both been on the rise in each of the last five years, the union says, though streaming residuals are making up a larger share of the residuals pie each year as the industry continues its shift to releasing shows on streaming platforms.

Since 2016, cash residuals from streaming jumped from 18.6% of total residuals to more than 43.5% last year.

In 2016, streaming residuals of $80.7 million only accounted for 18.6% of the $433.9 million in cash residuals generated by the union’s contract.

In 2017, streaming residuals of $122.9 million accounted for 27.7% of the $443.5 million in cash residuals.

In 2018, streaming residuals of $137.6 million accounted for 30.6% of the $450.2 million in cash residuals.

In 2019, streaming residuals of $177.6 million accounted for 38% of the $467.1 million in cash residuals.

In the pandemic year of 2020, streaming residuals of $215.4 million accounted for 43.5% of the $498.5 million in cash residuals.

Despite the lack of progress on economic issues during the contract talks, union leaders have said that they’ve made “significant progress” on issues of diversity and inclusion.

The union’s website says that “equal rights are the cornerstone of the labor movement. Unions were founded on the principle that all people are equal and all people are deserving of respect and fair treatment. Equality issues run through all areas of trade union activities – from health and safety to wage negotiations. IATSE is committed to equality of opportunity and to eliminating all forms of discrimination.”

The union’s bargaining team is led by IATSE international president Matthew Loeb, while AMPTP president Carol Lombardini is heading up talks for the companies.

The IATSE leaders’ joint statement was signed “in solidarity” by:

Tobey Bays, business agent, Prop Local 44
Thom Davis, business agent, Grips Local 80
Rebecca Rhine, national executive director, Cinematographers Guild Local 600
Scott Bernard, business representative, Sound Local 695
Cathy Repola, national executive director, Editors Guild Local 700
Adam West, business representative, Costumers Local 705
Randy Sayer, business agent, Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild Local 706
Greg Reeves, business representative-secretary, Set Lighting Local 728
Robert D. Denne, business representative/secretary-treasurer, Set Painters Local 729
Chuck Parker, national executive director, Art Directors Guild Local 800
Patric Abaravich, business agent, Script Supervisors Local 871
Doug Boney, business agent, Studio Teachers Local 884
Richard Stanley, executive director, Costume Designers Guild Local 892

Edward Douglas
Edward Douglas
Edward Douglas has written about movies for print and the internet for over 20 years, specializing in box office analysis, reviews, and interviews. Currently, he writes features for Below the Line and Above the Line, acting as Associate Editor for the former and Interim Editor for the latter.
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