Members of Hollywood’s Teamsters Local 399 have overwhelmingly voted to ratify two contracts with the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP), effectively avoiding a threatened strike. The local’s principal officer, Lindsay Dougherty, had previously warned that they would take a “commercial break” if the AICP did not offer a fair contract, stating that they would strike if provoked. However, the two new three-year contracts, which cover various positions such as drivers, wranglers, animal handlers/trainers, hyphenated drivers, location scouts, and managers, were approved by significant margins. The contract for drivers, wranglers, animal handlers/trainers, and hyphenated drivers received a 94.12% approval, while the contract for location scouts and managers was approved by 96.9% of the members. These agreements, which were reached last week, apply to approximately 500 members who regularly work in commercials. It is worth noting that over 1,000 members of Local 399 have worked at least one day under these contracts in the past year.
Implications for Future Bargaining
Lindsay Dougherty expressed her satisfaction with the outcome and highlighted the significance of this contract fight in setting a strong tone for future negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) next year. She emphasized that Teamsters do not back down and are always prepared to fight for their rights. Dougherty commended the unity shown by the two units involved in the contract fight and praised their efforts in raising industry standards and expectations for all. Joshua Staheli, Local 399’s vice president and chief negotiator for the contracts, also thanked the members in the commercials sector for their unwavering support and dedication. Staheli attributed the success of securing one of the best AICP contracts in the local’s history to the members’ strong collective stance. He acknowledged their active participation in quarterly commercial meetings, their presence during the contract campaign on commercial sets, and their readiness to call for a strike if necessary.
According to the union, the newly ratified contracts offer several key provisions:
– Minimum wage increases of 6%, 4%, and 4% throughout the duration of the contracts, with certain groups receiving wage increases of up to 20%.
– Elimination of the Class B and C rate, ensuring that all drivers are paid at least the Class A rate.
– Hyphenated drivers will experience a significant wage increase, with their wage rate rising from $5 to $13 per hour.
– Enhanced compensation for overtime work.
– Increased kit rentals.
– Implementation of penalties for employers who fail to provide employees with timely notification of call times, in order to protect their rest periods. Overall, rest periods have also been extended.
– Preservation of all medical and retirement benefits.
The approval of these contracts marks a significant achievement for Teamsters Local 399 and the members working in the commercials sector. The strong support and unity demonstrated by the members have resulted in improved conditions and benefits, setting a positive precedent for future negotiations within the industry.