Hollywood production workers reach deal with studios, setting stage for contract vote

Hollywood production workers reach deal with studios, setting stage for contract vote
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The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) on Tuesday reached a tentative agreement with Hollywood studios on a contract that governs 20,000 production crew members.

The agreement sets the stage for IATSE members to vote on a new contract for all 60,000 of its film and TV production crew workers, avoiding a strike that they overwhelmingly voted to authorize earlier this month.

The labor union said Tuesday that the deal will provide its members with significantly better pay and more time for meal breaks and sleep, along with fair compensation for streaming employees. The lowest earners will see their wages increase by up to 60 percent.

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“Goals we have been pursuing, in some cases for decades, have been achieved in these negotiations,” IATSE International President Matthew Loeb said in a statement. 

The agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents entertainment giants such as Paramount Pictures, Netflix, Warner Bros. and Amazon, covers film and TV production workers located around the country. IATSE previously reached a separate agreement that covers 40,000 West Coast-based workers.

Both the labor union and the studios hoped to avoid a strike, which would shut down the production of most popular movies and TV shows. Both sides will continue to negotiate a final agreement, with the hope of bringing a contract to a vote in the coming weeks.

The agreement comes as workers across the country strike for better pay and working conditions, bolstered by the nationwide worker shortage that is giving them more leverage in negotiations. More than 10,000 John Deere factory workers are currently in their second week on strike.