IATSE & Studios Close To Basic Agreement Deal, But Sticking Points Remain

EXCLUSIVE: Negotiations between IATSE and the AMPTP are expected to go late into the night Thursday as the two sides near a new three-year deal for LA Locals, but they still have some distance left to run. 

“It’s looking good, close, but nothing’s sealed up yet,” a studio source close to the talks tells us.

After just over two weeks of direct talks between IATSE and the studios on a new Basic Agreement contract for the members in the City of Angels and surrounding region, job security for members of the Matt Loeb-run union remains a significant sticking point, we hear. 

Stung by backlash over the last contract back in 2021 and a much closer-than-desired margin of victory on that deal’s ratification, IATSE leaders are determined this year to bring home a near “bulletproof” agreement, as one union insider put it. 

In a multi-talks process among multiple Guilds that started on March 4, IATSE has set a deadline of midnight tonight a.k.a. May 16 for this latest round.

But, if a deal isn’t done when the clock strikes 12, all hope isn’t lost. IATSE still has several weeks of bargaining for the Area Standards Agreement on the books, which could also be used to iron out those final details of the Basic Agreement.

Reps from the AMPTP did not respond for request for comment this afternoon when contact by Deadline. IATSE declined to comment.

Deadline hears that, while there are some roadblocks that may prevent a deal on the Basic Agreement Thursday night, IATSE is still expected to remain on track to complete all bargaining by early June, when the Teamsters and other Hollywood Basic Crafts will start their negotiations. Any major hiccups could delay those negotiations but, so far, sources said that does not look to be the case.

The Basic Crafts have returned to the table with IATSE several times throughout this negotiating process to talk with the AMPTP about shared benefit plans. It was expected they would be back in the room with IATSE on Thursday, according to sources. It’s not clear what other items were on the union’s agenda.

Once a deal is made on the Basic Agreement for the LA locals, IATSE will continue into bargaining for the Area Standards Agreement, which covers 23 additional IATSE locals across the U.S.

Neither IATSE nor the Teamsters and Basic Crafts currently have a strike authorization vote — a departure from early 2023 when the WGA approached their negotiations with the AMPTP with that authorization in their back pocket.

Having said that, IATSE leadership has loudly made it very clear the union is not interested in extending past the current contract’s expiration date of July 31.  

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