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AFTRA, Producers Agree on Deal

May 28, 2008  •  Post A Comment

The American Federation of Television & Radio Artists, the second-largest performer’s union, reached a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on a new three-year labor pact.
AFTRA said this morning that the new contract is subject to ratification by its members. The deal is broadly patterned after the labor contract negotiated earlier this year by the Writers Guild of America, which went on strike for 100 days to win digital concessions from the studios. The Screen Actors Guild, AFTRA’s bigger sister union, is returning to talks with the AMPTP today on its own labor agreement.
In addition to increasing wages, the AFTRA agreement establishes the union’s jurisdiction over programs distributed via the Internet and new media. It creates a new residuals structure for paid Internet downloads and betters the terms for performers working under The CW network’s contract.
“This is another groundbreaking agreement for AFTRA,” AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon said in a statement on the AFTRA Web site. “In addition to achieving meaningful gains in compensation and working conditions for performers, it also establishes AFTRA jurisdiction in the dynamic area of new media and it preserves performers’ consent for use of excerpts of traditional TV shows in new media.”
Compensation for programs seen on the Internet had been a major concern during the talks.
“Both AMPTP and AFTRA were challenged during these talks to find a way to fairly and sensibly tailor our industry’s new media framework to meet the needs of actors,” the AMPTP said in a statement on its Web site.
The current AFTRA contract expires June 30.
The AMPTP is scheduled to meet with the Screen Actors Guild today at 10 a.m. SAG started negotiations with producers earlier this month. The producers broke off talks to focus on negotiations with AFTRA.
SAG officials “do not know the details of the agreement,” SAG National President Alan Rosenberg said in a statement.
“The Screen Actors Guild negotiating committee and staff will thoroughly analyze and evaluate the principles of a tentative AFTRA deal with the AMPTP. We look forward to receiving an update from AFTRA staff regarding the negotiations as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing more during a face-to-face briefing with AFTRA’s negotiating committee as soon as AFTRA provides the opportunity,” Mr. Rosenberg said.
(Editor: Baumann. Updated 11 a.m. to add comment from unions, AMPTP.)

7 Comments

  1. I’m a little concerned. On other websites, coverage of this story implies that AFTRA representation of TV performers is rather limited. If I recall, however, AFTRA represents some primetime performers, but mostly, it represents daytime and syndicated personalities and performers in serialized daytime dramas. (As the late, great Frank Reynolds blustered after having to correct himself re: the fate of James Brady following the shooting of Pres. Reagan…
    “Let’s get our facts straight[sic].”

  2. Hi Jeff-
    In my case, I care mostly about soaps, so I am glad this is resolved. 🙂
    I also want the prime time and motion picture SAG negotiations resolved quickly, since there are a few prime time shows I also care about, and movies we are all looking forward to. I am sure they will be now that all the other unions (WGA, DGA and AFTRA) have been able to reach pacts.
    I am glad the pacts reached so far seem fair and equitable.

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