Two three-year contracts, negotiated for the studio Drivers and Location Managers, have been overwhelmingly ratified by the members covered by the agreements.
The agreements with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) protect 3,500 studio Drivers and 600 Location Managers. They were ratified by 86 percent and 90 percent margins. They bring Teamster members wage increases and continuation of what has become known as the Cadillac of health plans.
Negotiations for the studio Drivers’ contract, which served as a template for the Location Managers, were long and arduous. Secretary-Treasurer Leo T. Reed led a team of Local 399 and Basic Crafts unions in talks that began in early April and continued for three months.
“By ratifying the contracts studio Drivers and Location Managers will enjoy the same quality of health plan they had for years with little impact on their wallets,” reported Secretary-Treasurer Reed after the August ratification vote. “And our retirees are guaranteed their additional checks.”
The studio Drivers contract includes Drivers, Mechanics, Auto Service and Dispatchers on a wide range of projects from commercials and reality television to independent films and big-budget motion pictures.
The overwhelming majority at the two ratification meetings expressed their support and appreciation for the union.
“I think our union did a great job negotiating the contract, “ said David Cohen, an eight-year member who is a studio Driver at Universal. “I believe that with the way the economy is right now we could have lost a lot – especially with our health care plan, but I believe Leo Reed did a great job of protecting our benefits and maintaining our medical insurance.”
Location Manager Timothy Hillman said he was pleased with the contract, which also brought increases in mileage allowance. “My wife just got her doctorate in education and I’ll tell you I make more money than her. So we should be happy with our contract,” he said. “Thank you to the board for their hard work.”
The Basic Craft unions, which overwhelmingly ratified their contracts, included IBEW 40, Plumbers 78, Studio Utility Employees 724, and OPCM 755.
“The deal helps keep productions working without interruption in the 13 Western states as the industry continues to adapt to the challenges of producing in today’s market,” said a joint statement released by the Teamsters and AMPTP.