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Major Strike Averted: Film and TV Crews’ Union Reaches Tentative Deal with Studios

The union representing most behind-the-scenes film and television crews has reached a tentative agreement with studios for about 50,000 of its members, reducing the likelihood of another major, production-stopping strike after a year of labor turmoil in Hollywood.

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) announced the three-year deal in a joint statement on Tuesday night. IATSE informed its members, who must still vote to approve the deal, that the agreement includes the pay hikes and artificial intelligence protections they sought.

The contract, known as the Basic Agreement, affects approximately 50,000 crew members from 13 different West Coast-based union locals, including art directors, set painters, editors, camera technicians, costume designers, hair stylists, and makeup artists. A separate agreement for about 20,000 crew members nationwide is still under negotiation.

Last year’s grueling writers’ and actors’ strikes, along with the 2021 IATSE negotiations that nearly led to a strike, had raised concerns of more work stoppages in 2024 in an industry still recovering from prolonged shutdowns in 2023. Actors such as Mark Ruffalo and Kerry Washington recently sent a letter to the AMPTP urging a fair contract for crews.

Several individual branches had already reached separate agreements on unique issues. The Basic Agreement affects crew members across various roles.

IATSE reached Tuesday night’s deal with the AMPTP, which represents studios, streaming services, and production companies including Disney, Netflix, Warner Bros. Discovery, and Amazon Prime. This same alliance struggled to reach agreements with writers and actors during last year’s prolonged strikes. However, the tentative Basic Agreement comes nearly a month before the previous contract’s expiration.

In a letter to IATSE members, the union stated that more details on the tentative deal would be released later in the week. It “includes new protections around Artificial Intelligence, including language that ensures no employee is required to provide AI prompts in any manner that would result in the displacement of any covered employee.”

The deal also includes scale rate increases of 7%, 4%, and 3.5% over the three-year term, triple time for workers who surpass 15 hours in a day, and payments from studios to help cover a shortfall in the union’s health insurance budget.

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