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Crews union reaches deal on film and TV contract for workers outside L.A. and New York

A woman writes "Fair wages for all" on a car window
Donna Young of IATSE Local 700 Motion Picture Editors Guild, writes “fair wages for all” on a union member’s car during a rally on Sept. 26.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

The union representing film and TV crews has reached an agreement with the major studios on a new contract covering 20,000 workers outside of Los Angeles and New York City.

The tentative so-called “area standard” agreement was agreed to on Sunday, according to a statement from the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.

The proposed agreement, which needs to be ratified by members, covers workers in crafts represented by 23 locals nationwide. It is modeled on a similar pact between IATSE and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on behalf of 40,000 members of 13 West Coast-based IATSE locals.

President Matthew Loeb said this second agreement will offer similar improvements to all the members, including wage increases, more rest time during weekends and improved pay for streaming productions.

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“We were able to achieve gains in all of our core areas,” Loeb said in a statement Tuesday.

This latest agreement paves the way for the union to move forward with plans to ratify contracts that will affect 60,000 workers who work behind the scenes on film and TV sets.

The proposed contract has already faced a mixed reception from members who believe it falls short of improving their lives.

Concerns about long hours on sets have been magnified by the death of Halyna Hutchins, who was killed Thursday on a movie set by an accidental discharge from a prop gun fired by Alec Baldwin. Camera workers walked off the set prior to the accident in a dispute partly over work hours.

A majority of members from each local must approve the deal for it to be ratified. No vote date has been set.

The death of a respected cinematographer during filming of a western in New Mexico has renewed calls for greater safety measures on film sets.


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