IATSE, studios reach tentative agreement, averting strike

The union that represents most behind-the-scenes film and television crews has reached a tentative deal with studios for about 50,000 of its members, making another major, production-stopping strike unlikely after a year of labor turmoil in Hollywood.

The two sides announced the three-year deal in a joint statement Tuesday night.

The union, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, said in an email to members, who still must vote to approve the deal, that the agreement includes the pay hikes and artificial intelligence protections they had been vying for.

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The contract, known as the Basic Agreement, affects about 50,000 crew members who belong to 13 different West Coast-based union locals, including art directors, set painters, editors, camera technicians, costume designers, hair stylists and make-up artists.

A separate agreement that affects about 20,000 crew members across the country is still under negotiation.

Last year’s grueling writers’ and actors’ strikes, and 2021 IATSE talks that went well past the contract’s expiration and nearly spilled into a strike, had raised fears that 2024 would bring more work stoppages in an industry that still hasn’t gotten entirely back to work after being shut down for much of 2023.