IATSE Contract Negotiations: A Rocky Road to a New Deal

Here's a quick update on where we're at with the IATSE negotiations:

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and the AMPTP are in the midst of negotiations for a new Basic Agreement contract. These negotiations, which cover a wide range of issues including wages, working conditions, benefits, and the use of AI, have been ongoing for several weeks and have seen their fair share of challenges. 

One of the key sticking points in the negotiations is job security for IATSE members. The union is seeking stronger protections against subcontracting and the use of AI, which they fear could lead to job losses. The AMPTP, on the other hand, is pushing for more flexibility, arguing that it is necessary to adapt to the changing landscape. Another issue is the funding of the union's health and pension plans. A brief timeline of events: 
March 4th: The IATSE and AMPTP begin negotiations.
April 28th: IATSE West Coast Locals inform members that benefit plans need an estimated $670 million in additional funding over the next three years.
April 29th: IATSE and AMPTP resume negotiations on the Basic Agreement for West Coast Locals. 
May 16th: The deadline for the current round of negotiations passes without a deal.
May 19th: IATSE announces that talks have been paused and will resume in early June.
May 22nd: IATSE and AMPTP begin negotiating the Area Standards Agreement.
July 31st: The current Basic Agreement and Area Standards Agreement expire.
The current contract is set to expire on July 31st. IATSE has made it clear that they are not interested in extending the contract and are prepared to strike if a new agreement is not reached by the deadline. 

Despite the challenges, there have been some positive developments in the negotiations. Both sides have expressed a willingness to work together to find a solution, and there have been reports of progress on some issues. A new contract could bring much-needed stability to the industry and ensure fair wages and working conditions for IATSE members.