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AMPTP Reaches Tentative Deal with Craft Unions

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) has reached a tentative accord with Hollywood's five basic crafts unions. While the agreement, which must be ratified, clears the way for a resumption of talks with the Writers Guild of America (WGA), no new talks have been scheduled and none are expected to be arranged until at least next week.  

"The Teamsters and other Basic Crafts should be commended for their professional and responsible approach to negotiations, allowing us to reach a fair deal that assures production will continue under their agreements,"  said AMPTP President Nick Counter.

The WGA and AMPTP met twice two weeks ago for introductory meetings, in which they exchanged initial proposals and engaged in public finger-pointing. But AMPTP put the negotiations on hold to deal with the craft unions.

The WGA, which has signaled its interest in returning to the bargaining table, is not expected to come to terms with producers by the expiration of its contract on Oct. 31. Many speculate that writers will continue working under the terms of the old pact until next summer, when they may team with actors—and possibly directors—to threaten a strike.

AMPTP reached a tentative agreement on new three-year contracts affecting more than 6,000 workers Wednesday after negotiating more than an hour past the midnight deadline.

The proposed contract covers Teamsters Local 399 Studio Transportation Drivers, Studio Utility Employees Local 724, Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons International Assn. Local 755, Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry Local 78, and Local 40 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

The contracts require the approval of union membership, which could take up to a month to complete. The unions have agreed to recommend their members ratify the deals, terms of which were not disclosed.