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At the close of their first day of 2024 bargaining with studios and streamers, Hollywood’s major crew unions told members that talks are expected to continue for the rest of the week.

IATSE and the Hollywood Basic Crafts coalition (consisting of Locals with the Teamsters, IBEW, LiUNA!, OPCMIA and UA) entered discussions with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on Monday starting around 2 p.m. over health and pension benefits. According to a social media update from IATSE on Monday night, the unions offered their initial proposals earlier that day and IATSE international president Matthew Loeb said in his opening remarks before the AMPTP, “Our folks understand the business they’re in, the sacrifices and precarious nature of employment, and they work within that environment anyway. But there’s no reason these companies can’t build in more protection, reliability and predictability that creates more security.”

The unions are expected be negotiating with the studios for the rest of the week, the update stated. The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to the AMPTP for comment.

The day kicked off what is likely to be several long months of bargaining as the crew unions first stick together to discuss their health and pension proposals and later split off to bargain over their craft-specific issues, all before several agreements expire on July 31. IATSE in particular has indicated that it is not interested in extending talks beyond that point. In a timeline displayed on the union’s websites for its Basic Agreement and Area Standards Agreement negotiations, IATSE prepares members to expect either a ratification vote for a deal around July 31 or a strike authorization vote, “depending on the status of negotiations.”

Around a thousand people attended a pre-negotiations rally in Encino’s Woodley Park on Sunday in advance of the negotiations, with nearly a thousand more watching a live-stream online. There, Teamsters Local 399 head Lindsay Dougherty promised, “we will strike if we have to.” Teamsters national president Sean O’Brien added that, after the 2023 writers’ and actors’ strikes that put many crew members out of work, “we are desperate — and being desperate is great. It means we don’t care about consequences for our actions.”

In a statement on Monday, Dougherty added that “Yesterday’s rally showed that all of Hollywood labor remains committed to fight alongside one another. This historic show of support heading into today’s negotiations highlights that though our members often work behind-the-scenes, their issues will be front and center throughout this year’s contract fight.”

This year, the Hollywood Basic Crafts coalition and IATSE are negotiating their benefits provisions together for the first time since 1988. Their priorities include creating new funding opportunities for the plans via streaming projects and boosting retirement accrual rates.





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