CFL News
December 28, 2011

Oscar Makers in Chicago Ratify New Contract

As Award Season Nears, Teamsters Secure First New Wages in Four Years

Hollywood's biggest awards will continue to be made by American labor after the Chicago Teamsters reached a contract agreement on Dec. 22 with the longtime manufacturers of the Oscars and Emmy Awards.

Fifty Teamsters with R.S. Owens & Company in Chicago voted overwhelmingly to ratify their first new contract in four years. The three-year agreement includes the workers' first new wage increases since 2006. The raises will be retroactive to the previous contract's expiration on Nov. 14, with average hourly wages between $13-$14.

"Many of the men and women who make these awards have done so for 30 years, and the Teamsters are proud to continue this rich tradition," said Donnie Von Moore, President of Teamsters Local 743, which represents the workers. "Our members voluntarily worked shorter hours for the better part of a year to help R.S. Owens save money, and we're pleased their hard work and dedication to the craft have not gone unnoticed."

Teamsters also preserved vacation and other benefits without a work stoppage. Though Oscars will be handed out Feb. 26, 2012, Owens employees produce and polish the golden statues throughout the year. In addition to the Emmys, workers also create the MTV Video Music Awards, the Academy of Country Music Awards and replica statues of the Super Bowl trophy.

"Superior craftsmanship are necessary to produce these awards and Teamster labor will continue to be the gold standard," said John T. Coli, President of Teamsters Joint Council 25. "The Teamsters are committed to its partnership with R.S. Owens and championing the purchase of American products made by union labor."

Unions throughout the entertainment industry supported Local 743 during negotiations for a new contract, including the Chicago Entertainment Industry Labor Council, IATSE Theatrical Stage Employees Union Local 2 and the Chicago Federation of Musicians.