Sunday, July 25, 2010

Breakthrough in Teamsters talks; deal ratified

In a surprising development, Hollywood Teamsters leaders at a standing room only membership meeting this morning asked the membership to ratify a 2 year contract proposed by the studios. The membership then voted 97.3% to 2.7% to ratify, ending the possibility of a strike that could have shuttered much film and television production.

Most remarkably, the package that the leadership recommended -- which was achieved in back-channel negotiations Saturday afternoon -- differed little from the package the union rejected Friday night. The three Saturday enhancements were minor, and included such matters as reimbursement for Teamsters' renewal of their drivers licenses.

In essence, the union blinked, recognizing that a strike was not feasible in this economic climate. Union leaders also said they believed that management would not back down even if the union struck.

For details, see my Hollywood Reporter story.

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