Just over 48 hours before the deadline for a strike that will shut most of Hollywood down, IATSE struck both optimistic and unsentimental tones this evening as talks with the AMPTP have wrapped for the day.
“So, to repeat, we’re still at it,” Local 800 national executive director Chuck Parker told members Friday night as leadership on both sides stepped away from the virtual bargaining table for a few hours. “We’re making progress but have not reached the Goal Line yet,” the Art Directors Guild exec added. “Stay informed and be prepared.”
At the same time, as crews on series and films on the West Coast, East Coast, in Atlanta and on location elsewhere left work tonight packing up their kits and other belongs, Local 80 were stridently blunt. “Even though we are still at the bargaining table trying to get an agreement, at the time of this writing there are no plans to call off the strike,” the local that reps grips, craft service worker, first aid employees and warehouse workers went on to say in a digital correspondence with its members tonight.
IATSE boss Matt Loeb, AMPTP president chief Carol Lombardini and their negotiating teams are expected to sit down virtually tomorrow morning to see if that can reach that goal line and come up with an agreement. “The strike would be called off only if the employers meet our demand and we come to an agreement that can be recommended to the members for ratification,” Local 80 said in their blast to members tonight to punctuate the stakes.
In an exchange of last-ish proposals over the last two days, the union and reps for the studios, networks, and streamers have been drilling down in search of a deal, we hear. Industry mandarins and others have been on call to offer advice in a situation that some worry still could spiral out of control if not handled carefully.
Looking for new three-year agreement to cover issues of increased pay for the likes of assistants and script coordinators, raising streamer rates, fund the health and pension plans, greater turnaround times, increase meal break penalties, increased rest period and more, IATSE on October 13 drew its deadline in the sand.
If there is no deal by 12:01 AM on October 18, the around 60,000 member strong union will go on strike, as 98% of voting members authorized at the beginning of the month.
With the primary exception of commercials and the premium cablers who are covered under different contracts, shows and films will shut down and picket lines will be formed at least 21 locations around Los Angeles in the blast radius for what has become Tinseltown’s Cuban Missile Crisis.
— IATSE // #IASolidarity (@IATSE) October 16, 2021
Tom Tapp contributed to this report