The Hollywood unions are throwing their support behind the American Federation of Musicians as it begins its contract negotiations with the studios.
The AFM entered into negotiations with the AMPTP for its new collective bargaining agreement on Monday, fighting for many of the same things the WGA and SAG-AFTRA did during last year’s dual strikes, including AI protections, increased wages, and improved streaming residuals.
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“All of Hollywood labor deserves to share in the value of what they create. WGAW members stand with AFM as they bargain for a fair contract,” WGA West President Meredith Stiehm said in a statement of solidarity on Tuesday.
Her WGA East counterpart Lisa Takeuchi Cullen added: “We will never forget how AFM musicians used their incredible talent to uplift our members on picket lines throughout our 148-day strike. Now, as they head into negotiations with the AMPTP, we stand firmly by the side of every musician who records, performs, or prepares music for film and television. AFM members deserve a fair contract that recognizes and respects the irreplaceable contributions they bring to our industry.”
IATSE, SAG-AFTRA and the Teamsters also issued statements following day one of the AFM’s negotiations.
Matthew D. Loeb, IATSE International President: “The IATSE stands behind the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) in your pursuit of a fair, protective agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Studios (AMPTP). This is an industry that can afford to provide dignity and security to the full extent of its workforce. We support your efforts to reach agreement on the issues of this moment like artificial intelligence and gaining an appropriate share of the spoils of streaming reaped by the studios, networks, and streamers you will bargain with. Our unions are bound not only by our similar priorities, but also by our common experiences as the workers behind the film and television industry. The challenges faced last year, particularly during the strikes led by the WGA and SAG-AFTRA, highlighted the immense power of solidarity across our unions. Only together is it possible for us to build a film and television industry where every worker is valued, and their contributions recognized whether their labor takes place on or off screen.”
Fran Drescher, President of SAG-AFTRA: “For 118 days, the American Federation of Musicians marched alongside SAG-AFTRA on the picket lines. Today, our union declares our unwavering support for the AFM as the musicians embark on their negotiations with the AMPTP. Bargaining with the employers is no easy task. We firmly believe that today’s environment calls for creative workers to push through the previous era’s pattern of bargaining, demand more, and expect nothing short of the compensation and working conditions needed in order to thrive in this time of unchecked corporate greed. We must protect all artists’ livelihoods for future generations. Musicians, you can count on SAG-AFTRA’s full support every step of the way!”
Lindsay Dougherty, Teamsters Motion Picture Division Director & Principal Officer of Teamsters Local 399: “Hollywood Labor must continue to stand, and fight, together. Teamsters are in full support of the American Federation of Musicians in their pursuit of a fair contract that addresses their unique issues and important work in the Motion Picture Industry.”
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