IATSE reaches new three-year contract deal for film and TV production

A production crew prepares a set for the season finale of the Amazon Studios original series "Goliath" at the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles on Dec. 21, 2017.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

The union that represents thousands of below-the-line technicians and crafts professionals in the entertainment industry has reached a new contract deal with the Hollywood studios and networks for film and TV production, averting a possible strike.

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, or IATSE, reached the tentative agreement for a three-year contract on Thursday morning, according to a spokesman for the AMPTP, the bargaining organization that represents the major studios. Details of the contract haven’t been disclosed and the union’s members still have to ratify it before the pact takes effect.

IATSE represents an estimated 40,000 technical and crafts workers in Hollywood, including editors, cinematographers, set decorators and prop makers.


Not everyone was happy with the agreement. There is already pushback to the tentative deal from Motion Picture Editors Guild Local 700, whose national executive director, Cathy Repola, called it “unacceptable” in a message to her guild members on Thursday. Repola objected to the deal’s provisions for rest periods and contributions to the health and pension plans.

“I can’t understand how the other Locals could be for it,” she said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times. The guild represents more than 8,000 freelance and staff post-production professionals.

IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb said in a statement that the contract “will bring significant gains” for members. “With significant wage increases, enhanced turnaround times and other features to reduce long days, and new dedicated revenue streams to strengthen the industry pension, this agreement is a huge victory for the skilled professionals who bring motion pictures to life,” Loeb said.

The union’s last contract with the studios was ratified in 2015 and was set to expire on July 31.

The AMPTP negotiates a separate contract with the Teamsters, which represents drivers, location managers and other Hollywood crew members. The Teamsters contract is also set to expire this year, but no deal has been reached yet.

Twitter: @DavidNgLAT