The Teamsters union told its Hollywood members on Wednesday that it expects to hear “fear mongering” from the studios over the next few weeks, in a sign that the two sides remain far apart in negotiations.

The union is bargaining on behalf of about 6,500 truck drivers, animal wranglers and location managers. Their contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers is due to expire on July 31.

IATSE, which represents about 65,000 crew members, got a tentative agreement last week, after three months of talks without any outward sign of hostility. But in two updates to the membership, Teamsters Local 399 has made a couple of barbed comments about the studios.

“We expect over the next several weeks to see the companies attempt to use fear mongering tactics against the reasonable terms and conditions our members are fighting for in these negotiations,” the union said Wednesday. “Our members will not be the ones expected to balance the budget of the company’s poor business decisions over the last year.”

Teamsters Local 399 bargains alongside four smaller unions, collectively representing about 8,000 workers.

The key issues in the negotiation include overall wage increases, artificial intelligence and measures to curb subcontracting.

IATSE got increases of 7%, 4% and 3.5% over the three years of its contract, in line with the increases given to SAG-AFTRA last fall. The Teamsters participate in the same benefit plans as IATSE, and those issues have been resolved already, with an agreement to cover a $700 million shortfall with new residuals from streaming platforms.

The Teamsters’ negotiations are currently set to run through July 19, but could be extended beyond that date if needed. The union has already said it will not agree to extend the contract beyond the July 31 expiration.

The union previously accused the AMPTP of a “perceived lack of urgency.”

“Next week, we hope to see the AMPTP ready to sit back down at the table and be prepared to bargain and ‘care’ about the issues our members face,” the union said Wednesday. “As shared before, we have no interest in negotiating against ourselves.”

The union has not endured a work stoppage since it was locked out by the studios in 1988. Before negotiations began, Teamsters leader Lindsay Dougherty said that a strike is unlikely this time around.



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