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One Down, More To Go: Cinematographers Guild & Studios Reach Tentative Deal On “Local 600 Specific Issues”; Art Directors Guild & Other IATSE Locals Still In Talks

The prospect of another Hot Labor Summer in Hollywood just became a little less likely.

“Today marked the conclusion of our bargaining team’s in-person local negotiations with the AMPTP regarding our Camera and Publicist Agreements,” the leadership of the International Cinematographer’s Guild wrote in a note to members late last night. “We’ve reached a tentative agreement on Local 600 specific issues.”

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The deal comes after just three days of direct talks between the ICG and the Carol Lombardini-led AMPTP. With the crafts guilds back at the bargaining table Monday after a week of caucusing, the Art Directors Guild (IATSE Local 800) is also in direct negotiations with the studios right now.

The Motion Picture Editors Guild (IATSE Local 700) will start their own talks today, with IATSE Local 729 expected to also begin negotiations with the AMPTP this week. International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees said Wednesday that under the on-going strategy ”two locals will negotiate simultaneously at any given time” with the studios over the next month.

Overall talks on a new deal kicked off March 4 with the leadership of IATSE, the Hollywood Teamsters and other crafts guilds meeting with the AMPTP for several days to discuss health and pension benefits, and offer proposals. The current contract is set to end July 31.

“We wish the remainder of the West Coast Studio Locals best of luck as they negotiate their local specific issues,” the IGC told members today. “We look forward to building on the success in the General Negotiations, which this tentative Local 600 specific agreement will be part of. Once a tentative deal is reached, all members will have the opportunity to vote to ratify the agreement.”

The tentative agreement between the ICG and the AMPTP is significant on a number of levels for Hollywood during what IATSE boss Matthew Loeb has described as “precarious” state of the industry. The 9,000-member strong ICG makes up the largest IATSE local, and hence carries a lot of influence.

Yet, there is a long way to go, and many locals and issues still to go.

Coming off last year’s successful strikes by the WGA and SAG-AFTRA, Loeb has openly said he has no plans to extend the union’s current deals beyond their July 31 expirations, a very different stance than he and the leadership took three years ago in the last talks.

In those 2021 talks, after an overwhelming nationwide strike-authorization vote by IATSE members when talks with the AMPTP seemed to crash, the last contracts were ratified by members in a closer-than-usual vote, with the L.A. locals rejecting the agreement in the popular vote.

This time round, IATSE national leadership has said it will center on the restart of negotiations for the Hollywood Basic Agreement General Negotiations and the start of the IATSE-AMPTP Area Standards Agreement at the end of April. The Basic Agreement covers all 13 of the union’s Hollywood locals, while the Area Standard Agreement covers 26 locals outside Los Angeles.

Overall, around 60,000 industry-related IATSE members are affected by the contracts.

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