Source: CNN

The members of Hollywood’s crew member unions include people who – literally – help keep the lights on around town on film and television show sets, the same ones that will go dark again if the unions’ contract negotiations fail and another strike descends upon an industry still sore from last summer’s historic strikes.

“There’s always a reason to strike,” Lindsay Dougherty, Teamsters Local 399 principal officer and chairperson of the Hollywood Basic Crafts, said in a recent interview with CNN ahead of Monday’s start of the unions’ negotiations with major studios. But, she adds “I don’t anticipate that the studios will be giving us that reason.”

Either way, she continued, the union intends to “fight for everything that we can get” because “we’re done being disrespected.”

While entertainment consumers would never know it from their still-plentiful streaming carousels, industry professionals across the many trades that are essential to the DNA of a Hollywood movie and TV sets say their industry is on crutches.

The studios and streamers are buying and producing fewer projects. A lot of projects are being filmed out of California and out of the country, resulting in fewer job opportunities for those living in the heart of the entertainment industry.

“Some of these proposals we have made for 50 plus years so this fight was always going to happen, but now the fight is different because our members have suffered such financial hardship in the last year from not working – and at the hands of the studios,” Dougherty said. “The studios are the ones that, in my opinion, could have deterred that from happening or prevented a dual strike from happening.”

CNN has reached out to the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), the entity that represents the studios and streamers, for comment on the start of the Teamsters’ and Basic Crafts’ negotiations.

The negotiations between Hollywood’s leading crew unions – including IATSE, Teamsters Local 399 and Basic Hollywood Crafts – and the AMPTP will culminate by the end of July, when the current contracts expire.

Here’s what to know about who is negotiating, what they’re fighting for and what another potential strike would mean for viewers.

Who are the Teamsters?

Nearly 5,000 members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ (IBT) motion picture division include drivers, dispatchers, Department of Transportation (DOT) administrators, animal trainers, wranglers, mechanics and location managers who work in Hollywood. They are represented by Teamsters Local 399, with the drivers making up the largest portion of their membership.

What is Hollywood Basic Crafts?

Hollywood Basic Crafts is coalition of crew unions that include:

Who is in IATSE?

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) represents nearly 170,000 members working in Hollywood as hair and makeup artists, wardrobe department workers, broadcast techs, designers, animators, AV techs, scenic artists and more.

Who are the AMPTP?

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) is the entity that represents the major Hollywood studios and streamers in negotiations with the entertainment industry unions and guilds.

When did negotiations start?

Hollywood Basic Crafts and Teamsters Local 399 began June 10.

IATSE began the first phase of their negotiations earlier in March, which “have largely been productive,” according to a news release on Friday. Some tentative agreements were reached in April, but overall negotiations remain ongoing.

Basic Crafts, Local 399 and IATSE are negotiating some specific provisions of their respective contracts alongside each other, but their members will be voting on each union’s respective contract separately.

What the unions want

Fair wages, working conditions, residual distribution, pensions, health funds and job security provisions, among other topics, are all topics that are on the table, according to Dougherty. They are also seeking “additional compensation” for the financial impact that the work-stoppage from last year’s dual strikes had on members, she said.

Dougherty said crew member unions aim to be “properly compensated for all the hard work that they do on a day-to-day basis.”

When would a potential strike begin?

IATSE, Teamsters Local 399 and Hollywood Basic Crafts’ respective contracts expire on July 31. Unless they agree to extend negotiations beyond that deadline, the unions and the AMPTP would need to agree on a new contract prior to that date to avoid a strike.

What happens to TV show/movie productions if there’s a strike?

Hollywood would probably shut down again just like last year, causing industry-wide delays and putting thousands of people out of work again.

What would that look like for entertainment consumers? It could mean waiting yet another year to watch the final season of “Strangers Things,” for example, which is set to stream in 2025 but will still be in production come July. If the production is halted due to a strike, that just further pushes back the release date.

This is the case for any other project that’s in production at the time of a strike.

See Full Web Article