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Film crews union narrowly approves contract with producers

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Film industry crew members narrowly voted to approve a pair of deals with Hollywood producers after a standoff days after a strike that reportedly froze productions in the United States, have union leaders said on Monday.

The agreements rose from 56% to 44% among delegates from the 36 local unions of the International Alliance of Theater and Stage Employees in the voting system that resembles the American Electoral College.

But in the popular vote, 50.3% said yes and 49.7% no of the approximately 45,000 members who voted in a ballot held from Friday to Sunday.

The total is very slim in contrast to the last vote of union members, in which 98% approved granting union leaders the power to call a strike.

A victorious “no” would have reopened negotiations and brought back the possibility of a strike.

There was joy and relief among many members when the three-year deal was reached with producers on October 16, two days before the strike deadline.

But many others were disappointed with the details, saying the contracts didn’t go far enough to address issues like long workdays that can lack breaks or lunch, and the debilitating fatigue they cause. .

The vote took place in the shadow of the shooting that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza on the set of the movie “Rust” in New Mexico.

Alec Baldwin, the star producer of the film that fired the gun, called it an “event in a billion,” but many felt the incident was emblematic of the industry’s critical and critical flaws.

According to the union, major safety and economic issues are addressed in proposed agreements covering workers in film and television productions.

The deals include general wage increases and an increase in pay paid by streaming services, which have long been allowed at lower pay rates, union leaders said.

IATSE represents approximately 150,000 behind-the-scenes workers, including stagehands, filmmakers, costume designers and other employees in all forms of entertainment, from film and television to theater, concerts, trade shows and broadcasting.

The two contracts offered concern around 63,000 union members. One primarily covers film and television production on the West Coast and applies to about two-thirds of these members; the other concerns production centers, notably New Mexico and Georgia.

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Follow @AP Entertainment writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton

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