Talks to Resume July 8

By Chanak Maduranga

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Talks to Resume July 8
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At the end of their latest week of bargaining with Hollywood studios and streamers, the unions that make up the Hollywood Basic Crafts coalition struck a defiant tone.

In a statement on Wednesday, the labor groups said that major entertainment firms at the bargaining table during these talks “can and should respect” the workers that the unions collectively represent, including around 7,600 drivers, electricians, plasterers, caterers, plumbers, laborers, location managers and animal trainers, among others.

The group, comprised of the Teamsters Local 399, IBEW Local 40, LiUNA! Local 724, UA Local 78 and OPCMIA Local 755, stated that it expects “to see the companies attempt to use fear mongering tactics against the reasonable terms and conditions our members are fighting for in these negotiations” over the next few weeks, while not specifying what those tactics might be. The group further argued that its members “will not be the ones expected to balance the budget of the company’s poor business decisions over the last year.”

On Tuesday the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents management in Hollywood labor negotiations, presented the unions with its latest counterproposals. The Hollywood Basic Crafts group said it will work on its responses before discussions resume on Monday, July 8. Negotiations are currently scheduled to wrap July 19, prior to several contracts’ expiration dates of July 31.

When talks resume on Monday, “We hope to see the AMPTP ready to sit back down at the table and be prepared to bargain and ‘care’ about the issues our members face,” the Hollywood Basic Crafts stated. “As shared before, we have no interest in negotiating against ourselves. We are prepared to seek additional dates to have our members’ core priorities heard, understood, and acted on by the employer’s [sic] if they are not prepared to do so by July 19th.”

The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to the AMPTP for comment.

The last time that the Hollywood Basic Crafts updated members on negotiations, union leaders claimed that the studios were demonstrating a “lack of urgency” in addressing their members’ core concerns. “At the conclusion of our scheduled dates for June, we want to make it clear that we are not interested in bargaining against ourselves,” Hollywood Basic Crafts chairperson Lindsay Dougherty and four other union leaders stated at the time.

These two latest messages from the Hollywood Basic Crafts negotiating team have differed in tenor from those sent by fellow crew union IATSE, which over the course of its recent Basic Agreement and Area Standards Agreement talks generally offered members a sense of progress at the bargaining table. IATSE struck tentative deals for its Basic Agreement on June 25 and for its Area Standards Agreement on June 27.

With those major crew contracts nearly wrapped up — IATSE union members still have to ratify the deals before they can take effect — all eyes are now on the Hollywood Basic Crafts as negotiations near their July 31 deadline. Negotiations head Dougherty told THR in June that she is not planning to call a strike authorization vote, but if members reject the deal reached by their leaders, “that’s a strike authorization.”

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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