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IATSE Members Ratify New Contracts in a Close Vote

IATSE
(Image credit: IATSE)

LOS ANGELES—Members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts (IATSE) have voted to ratify two contracts, the Basic Agreement, and the Area Standards Agreement, with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), the trade group representing producers, major studios and streaming services.

The vote averts what would have been a historic strike but was relatively close and the deal was rejected by Los Angeles locals

“From start to finish, from preparation to ratification, this has been a democratic process to win the very best contracts,” said IATSE international president Matthew Loeb. “The vigorous debate, high turnout, and close election, indicates we have an unprecedented movement-building opportunity to educate members on our collective bargaining process and drive more participation in our union long-term.”

Contracts between IATSE and AMPTP address quality-of-life issues such as rest and meal breaks; boost revenues from streaming; include raises for all members and lift those at the bottom to a living wage.

IATSE uses an electoral college style system through which locals are assigned delegates based on their size of memberships. Members vote within their local union and once a local reaches a majority vote, to either ratify or reject, all delegate votes are assigned to the majority result.

In the end, the combined vote was 359 delegates (56%) to 282 (44%), out of 641 total delegate votes from the 36 local unions eligible. 

For the Basic Agreement the vote was 256 voting yes to 188 no and for the Area Standards Agreement the yes vote was 103 to 94 no votes.

The popular vote was much closer. A combined 50.3% voted yes and 49.7% voted no for both contracts. For the Basic Agreement the popular vote came in at 49.6% yes to 50.4% no. On the Area Standards Agreement the popular vote stands at 52% yes to 48% no. 

For the Basic Agreement eight locals voted yes and five locals voted no. 

Among the Area Standards local unions, 14 locals voted yes and nine voted no.

Turnout was high, the union said. Seventy-two percent of the 63,209 members eligible to vote cast ballots. Bargaining teams for all 36 local unions involved had endorsed passage and both agreements passed, the union said.