'Natural allies' IATSE, Teamsters form pact

Groups to identify and work on common goals in Hollywood

Hollywood's blue-collar workers are huddling up.

IATSE and the Teamsters announced an agreement Thursday to forge a joint committee to identify common goals in Hollywood and work to achieve mutual progress for their respective locals. The pact will address organizing efforts, jurisdictional issues and communications between the unions.

IATSE struck its latest three-year collective bargaining agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers in April 2008. The Teamsters signed a new two-year AMPTP pact last month.

Though their common work issues might suggest an existing close relationship, in reality the unions' Hollywood locals have operated quite independently of each another for years.

"The Teamsters are our natural allies," IATSE international president Matthew Loeb said. "They work side by side with our members for the same employers, and they face the same challenges we do with respect to our standard of living and health and retirement benefits."

The unions' Hollywood locals both participate in the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plans.

"We look forward to working more closely with IATSE to represent the interests of our members in the motion picture and television industry," Teamsters general president Jim Hoffa said.

"Together our unions will work toward protecting the interests of our members," said Leo Reed, director of the Teamsters motion picture division and secretary-treasurer of Local 399 in Hollywood. "Our members will only benefit from this new partnership."

The executive boards of the unions unanimously ratified the agreement, officials said.
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