Saturday, March 1, 2008

IATSE, AMPTP set negotiation date

Groups to discuss West Coast contract April 7


Variety Friday February 29,2008

The Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees will hold early negotiations with the AMPTP on its West Coast contract, starting on 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.

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