IATSE, AMPTP agree to break


IATSE and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers have agreed to continue at a later date their "opening round" of contract talks to make way for the upcoming separate negotiations the producers have with SAG and AFTRA.

On Monday, IATSE began three days of talks with the AMPTP on its current contract, which expires in August 2009. The discussions revolved around new media, minimums and the pension and health plans, including the impact of the 2006 Pension Protection Act on funding standards, according to a joint statement from the two sides.

"These talks have been extremely helpful in understanding the fundamental issues before us in an environment that has been conducive to bargaining," IATSE president Thomas Short said. "We look forward to the resumption of negotiations with AMPTP and to securing a contract that will benefit our membership."

No date has been set to resume talks, but both sides will likely wait until SAG and AFTRA finish their separate negotiations with the majors. SAG is set to start talks on Monday, while AFTRA is scheduled for April 28.

"We've covered a lot of ground in an opening round that's been both respectful and mutually beneficial," AMPTP's Nick Counter said.