Groups to discuss West Coast contract April 7
IATSE, which covers about 25,000 below-the-line employees in 18 locals in the contract, is about halfway through its current contract. That pact, finalized in early 2006, expires in August 2009.
Move comes a day after SAG announced its negotiations on its feature-primetime contract won't start until April at the earliest. The SAG-AFTRA contract expires June 30 and SAG's lack of speed in getting to the table has created worries about a possible strike.
The AMPTP and IATSE had no comment.
IATSE -- which was harshly critical of the WGA strike because of the impact on its members -- is likely aiming to incorporate gains from the DGA and WGA contracts plus last year's West Coast Teamster deal, in addition to reaching a deal before a possible SAG strike.
IATSE has usually negotiated its contracts far before expiration, operating on the theory that it can obtain the best possible deal in exchange for labor stability.