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Area Standards Talks Pause Without Deal

Area Standards Talks Pause Without Deal

IATSE and major Hollywood studios and streamers have paused negotiations over the union’s Area Standards Agreement after the two parties did not reach a deal in their previously allotted time.

The crew union updated members on Saturday that the two sides did not come to an agreement in their two-week bargaining period, and that additional negotiations dates were expected to be scheduled for later in June. “I want to thank the ASA Negotiating Committee for their thorough work to prepare for these negotiations,” IATSE international president Matthew Loeb said in a statement. “Their contribution helped ensure we have the momentum we need at the table.”

Loeb continued, “I’m hopeful that we will soon reach a tentative agreement that members will want to ratify.”

The Area Standards Agreement covers around 20,000 members across the U.S. who work outside of Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and San Francisco, spanning 23 Locals. Top issues for these Locals in 2024’s round of negotiations include instituting major increases to minimum wages rates; a standardized, higher benefit rate that would apply to all Locals; language covering the use of AI; and heightened financial penalties for when contractually obligated rest periods are delayed or missed. IATSE has also stated that it is seeking to include additional holidays in the contract, expand sick leave, change or end certain sideletters and make “overtime improvements.”

IATSE is negotiating both the Area Standards Agreement and the Basic Agreement (a contract that covers 13 West Coast unions and over 60,000 workers) in this year’s negotiations cycle. In mid-May, the previously scheduled period for Basic Agreement negotiations also came and went without a deal; additional bargaining dates for that contract have been scheduled for Monday through Wednesday.

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The Area Standards Agreement, like the Basic Agreement, expires on July 31. IATSE has stated that it is willing to call a strike authorization vote if the two parties don’t reach a deal by that date.

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