Hollywood Union Faces 2012 Pension & Welfare Fight

According to a Nov. 27th, 2011 article in the NY Times, Hollywood's blue collar workers (known in the business as "below-the-line" workers) are facing a huge budget shortfall: Thanks to "weak industry economics, a tough investment climate and, above all, sharp increases in health care outlays" union bosses are predicting a $500 million shortfall in pension and welfare funding by 2015.

Matthew Loeb, the president of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees ("IATSE"), has told his membership (50,000 set designers, makeup artists, grips etc.) that the union can no longer fund pension and welfare plans based on current studio and member contributions and, when the IATSE deal ends in Spring 2012: “We’re going to be asking for money, lots of it.”

The question then becomes: Will the studios cave to IATSE demands or will there be a strike.

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