by Robin Kemp
5:40 p.m.: CLARIFICATION: on order of steps in voting
About 6,000 union film crew members in Clayton County and the East Coast are waiting to see how a tentative basic agreement between their West Coast members and production studios.
IATSE Local 479 General Secretary-Treasurer Kevin Cheatham said West Coast union members and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMTMP) came to the tentative basic agreement Saturday. The AMTMP is a non-profit organization that represents “studios, broadcast networks, cable networks and motion picture, and television producers.”
How it works
Once an agreement is negotiated on the West Coast, Cheatham said, “The next step, if a tentative agreement is reached, is that the details will come out for our West Coast members. The Area Standards Agreement [covering 26 locals in the Eastern United States] is being negotiated this week, maybe next week. When those details are out, then the membership on the East and West Coasts will vote for both.”
The “sister ratification” would be voted on by each local. When that would be is “to be determined,” Cheatham said.
Director of photography Ernesto Lomelli of Los Angeles told Variety, “Basically nothing has changed. I have not heard a single person saying they will vote yes.”
The tentative basic agreement, according to Variety, includes:
- 10 hours’ turnaround time between shifts (some members say they want 12 hours)
- a 54-hour weekend
- 3% annual wage increase over the next three years
- increased meal penalties
- better wages and working conditions for streaming productions
- a living wage for the lowest-paid crew members
IASTE Local 479’s studio and mechanical workers represent about 40% of the union’s 150,000 members. Since 2008, when the State of Georgia’s tax credit for film and video production went into effect, the union has grown about 30 times its original size.
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