Hollywood Basic Crafts Leaders Claim Studios Exhibiting “Lack of Urgency” in Ongoing Negotiations

In their latest update on ongoing negotiations with studios and streamers, leaders of the Hollywood Basic Crafts union coalition singled out an alleged “lack of urgency” on the employer side of the discussions.

“At the conclusion of our scheduled dates for June, we want to make it clear that we are not interested in bargaining against ourselves,” Hollywood Basic Crafts chairperson Lindsay Dougherty and four other leaders said in a statement on Friday, after finishing up their second week of targeted negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. “There is a perceived lack of urgency on the employers’ end in addressing issues affecting our members.”

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The Hollywood Basic Crafts coalition consists of the Teamsters Local 399, IBEW Local 40, LiUNA! Local 724, UA Local 78 and OPCMIA Local 755, and collectively represents around 7,600 crew members, including drivers, location managers, electricians and plasterers.

A number of the group’s contracts are currently scheduled to terminate on July 31. “We have no intention of extending our agreement past expiration and would instead prefer to engage in productive discussions,” the leaders — including IBEW Local 40 business manager Stephan Davis, LiUNA! Local 724 secretary-treasurer Alex Aguilar, OPCMIA Local 755 principal officer Carlo Perez and UA Local 78 business agent Hector Rosales — continued in their statement. “We have been upfront about our intention to find a middle ground on our members’ core priorities while working collaboratively to see Hollywood rebound.”

The parties will return to the bargaining table to negotiate these contracts on July 1, per the union leaders, while the Basic Crafts will join with IATSE to resume bargaining over shared benefits plans next week.

The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to the AMPTP for comment.

The Hollywood Basic Crafts began targeted negotiations with studios and streamers on June 10. During the first week of talks, the two parties swapped initial proposals and the unions said they repeatedly stressed that they wanted to expand California’s film and television tax credit program amid Hollywood’s production slowdown. This week, the labor group said it offered counterproposals to the AMPTP on the Basic Crafts contract as well as the Teamsters Local 399’s Black Book and location managers contracts. “The ball is now in the employers’ court to set the tone for our final month of negotiations when we return to the table,” the group stated.

The crew unions are focusing on core labor issues this round of negotiations: wages, working conditions and retirement benefits. The union coalition is also particularly focused on parity between different working groups this year. “Many conditions that we are asking for are the same Motion Picture Industry workers are already granted here in Hollywood and in other parts of the country by these very same companies,” the union leaders stated. “We entered these negotiations with an overarching bargaining priority of respect — respect for the skilled workforce that plays an integral role in bringing Hollywood to life.”

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