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IATSE sets more negotiation dates in June as AI remains an important topic




IATSE sets more negotiation dates in June as AI remains an important topic

IATSE has scheduled three additional days of negotiations in June, during which it hopes to finalize a preliminary agreement with the studios.

The union told members Friday that it has reached “consensus” with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on a number of issues. But there is still work to be done in artificial intelligence and how best to protect workers whose jobs are being displaced by AI.

Under existing agreements, IATSE employees who permanently lose their jobs due to “technological changes” are entitled to retraining and severance pay. The new contract is expected to determine how that would apply in the case of AI.

The union has said it is not trying to block AI, but does want to address the many ways it could impact the numerous trades under its jurisdiction. IATSE represents a wide range of ‘below the line’ workers, from grip and props masters to costume designers and cinematographers.

The union will resume negotiations on the Basic Agreement from June 3 to 5. That contract covers about 45,000 to 50,000 workers in 13 unions in Los Angeles.

Negotiators this week discussed a parallel contract, the Area Standards Agreement, covering a further 23 locals across the country. Negotiations on that contract will resume on Tuesday and continue into next week.

The ASA discussions focus on working conditions issues, such as the length of a working day and provisions on rest periods.

“These negotiations are fundamentally about employers respecting our right to get up and get some rest during a long day at work, to get home safely to see our families and have some economic stability,” said Matt Loeb , the International President of IATSE. , in Friday’s post. “Work will continue next week as we resume our discussions with employers.”

The union is also trying to close a $670 million shortfall in health care and pension programs over the next three years. IATSE wants a new source of revenue, in the form of a streaming residual, to support the funds drained by last year’s double strike and the COVID pandemic.

In the message, IATSE emphasized that agreement on everything has only just been reached, and that preliminary areas of consensus are still subject to change.

The Basic Agreement and the Area Standards Agreement expire on July 31. The AMPTP must also negotiate a new Basic Crafts contract in June with the Teamsters and a handful of other unions, including laborers, electricians and plumbers.

The industry has struggled to fully recover from the strikes amid a broad downsizing that has left many IATSE workers on the sidelines for more than a year.