IATSE Back at the Bargaining Table With a Focus on Cinematographer Issues

IATSE resumed negotiations with the major studios on Monday, with a day spent focused on items relevant to the International Cinematographers Guild, Local 600.

IATSE began talks earlier this month, as it seeks to address artificial intelligence, see wage increases to make up for inflation, and close a significant shortfall in its pension and health fund.

With more than 9,000 active members, the ICG is the largest of the IATSE locals involved in bargaining.

The union sent an update to its members on Monday evening recapping the day’s events. Alex Tonisson, the national executive director, gave opening remarks and presented proposals. Carol Lombardini, the president of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, also made opening remarks and presented the studio proposals.

After that, the two sides met amongst themselves and then called it a day, with talks due to resume Tuesday. The Art Directors Guild, Local 800, is expected to follow the cinematographers’ guild, and eventually each of the 13 West Coast locals who are under the IATSE Basic Agreement will get a turn to present their own proposals.

The Basic Agreement expires on July 31, and the sides have expressed optimism that they will be able to reach an agreement. IATSE has said that it will not extend that deadline, however, in a sign that it is taking a somewhat harder line than inn previous cycles.

The Teamsters and other Basic Crafts unions are expected to begin their talks in June, and also have a July 31 contract deadline.

The unions spent four days across the table from the AMPTP from March 4 to 7. Last week was a “caucus week,” during which the unions met internally but not with the employers.

In his opening remarks, Tonisson emphasized that the ICG represents “the best” in the business.

“We look forward to coming to an agreement that reflects that truth, and during this process, please remember that our goal is to come to a fair agreement that, in the end, will be supported by our membership,” he said.

Members of the ICG bargaining committee also spoke on specific proposals. They were joined by staffers from several other IATSE locals.

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