IATSE Members Vote To Ratify New Union Contract But Contentious Issues Unresolved


The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) has ratified a new 3-year contract with the studios by a close margin. The results saw the members vote down the Basic Agreement through a popular vote, but delegates passed it. It brought to an uncertain conclusion of particularly contentious ratification for the union.

The vote has managed to avoid an unparalleled strike that was threatened last month by IATSE, but many members remained disaffected. It took months of protracted negotiation between the studios and among the biggest industry unions.

But the voting has also brought to the fore the division within the IATSE over the deal with the studios. Critics of the deal say that it has failed to ensure measures to protect workers on the sets.

The fresh deal ensures rest periods during the weekend off at least 54 hours, and a turnaround time of at least 10 hours between shifts applicable to all members. Other deals include an annual raise of 3% and a rise in pay for union members in the low-earning spectrum. There will also be an increase in health fund plans and pensions.

The Majority Of IATSE Supports The Deal

The deal was voted for by 72% of IATSE union members. Voting on the deal was incredibly close even though the leadership of the IATSE said that the deal had a ‘Hollywood Ending.’

A break-up of the voting pattern reveals the difference between members on the new deal. While the Area Standards Agreement comprising the local unions across the US voted 52% for, the unions covering the West Coast IATSE members actually voted 50.4% against.

But as the voting is tallied through the delegate system similar to the American electoral college system, both agreements went through. While 268 delegates went along with the Basic Agreement with 188 against, it was 103-94 with the Area Standard Agreement.

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