AI, Wages Discussed In Latest Week of Talks

By Chanak Maduranga

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AI, Wages Discussed In Latest Week of Talks

IATSE West Coast Locals and major Hollywood studios and streamers tackled issues including AI and wages in their latest week of general negotiations, the union reported to members on Friday.

The two parties also discussed working conditions, the issue of companies allegedly subcontracting work that IATSE believes is covered under its contract to outside parties, IATSE’s Videotape Agreement (which covers some reality shows, game shows, awards shows, live TV and half-hour shows) and sideletters that the union wants to do away with.

The union did not provide any more details on the substance of these conversations in its Friday message, which nevertheless positioned the talks as progressing effectively so far. The union’s international president, Matthew Loeb, said in a statement that the union had been “constructively engaging” with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which bargains on behalf of studios and streamers with Hollywood unions.

“The goal of these negotiations is to ensure that our contracts keep pace with the rapid evolution of the entertainment industry. In many cases, the language in the previous agreements no longer works for our members,” Loeb stated. “We are constructively engaging with employers to upgrade it and adapt our contracts to current working conditions.”

A union insider added to The Hollywood Reporter that the talks have been described as more productive so far than 2021’s round of negotiations, which stretched out over many months and culminated in an overwhelming strike authorization vote from crew members. (The union did not ultimately strike, but instead reached a last-minute deal that was controversial with its members.)

THR has reached out to the AMPTP for comment.

The union told its members Friday that discussions will continue for West Coast Locals until May 16, after which point the union will pivot to bargaining its Area Standards Agreement (which covers a group of Locals outside of New York and the West Coast). Currently, there are no plans for the Basic Agreement talks to stretch beyond May 16.

The Area Standards Agreement discussions, set to take place between May 20 and May 31, will cover many of the same issues that West Coast Locals are currently discussing with employers — including AI, wage increases, working conditions, pension and health contributions and job security. Current iterations of both the Basic Agreement and Area Standards Agreement are scheduled to expire on July 31.

Chanak Maduranga

passionate journalist behind 'USA News Now 24', dedicated to delivering timely and accurate updates on US affairs. Committed to journalistic integrity and informing audiences with credible news coverage.

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