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~*~Lost-ABC~*~ Hollywood actors guild to seek strike Lost Moderators Mon Nov 24 00:02:45 2008

Hollywood actors guild to seek strike
LOS ANGELES – The Screen Actors Guild said Saturday it will ask its
members to authorize a strike after its first contract talks in four
months with Hollywood studios failed despite the help of a federal
mediator.

The guild said it adjourned talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture
and Television Producers shortly before 1 a.m. after two marathon
sessions with federal mediator Juan Carlos Gonzalez.

SAG, representing more than 120,000 actors in movies, television and
other media, said in a statement that it will launch a "full-scale
education campaign in support of a strike authorization."

"We have already made difficult decisions and sacrifices in an attempt
to reach agreement," the statement said. "Now it's time for SAG members
to stand united and empower the national negotiating committee to
bargain with the strength of a possible work stoppage behind them."

The statement did not specify what led to the impasse, saying only that
"management continues to insist on terms we cannot responsibly accept."
A SAG spokeswoman said she would not comment further. A call to the
movie producers group, known as the AMPTP, was not immediately returned.

SAG's national board has already authorized its negotiating committee to
call for a strike authorization vote if mediation failed. The vote would
take more than a month and require more than 75 percent approval to
pass.

SAG is seeking union coverage for all Internet-only productions
regardless of budget and residual payments for Internet productions
replayed online, as well as continued actor protections during work
stoppages

But the AMPTP said it was untenable for SAG to demand a better deal than
what writers, directors and another actors union accepted earlier in the
year, especially now that the economy has worsened.

Earlier this week, the producers' group said it had reached its sixth
labor deal this year, a tentative agreement on a three-year contract
with the local branches of the International Alliance of Theatrical
Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts,
accounting for 35,000 workers.

The stagehands alliance accepted Internet provisions that were modeled
on agreements with other unions, the producers group said.

Actors in prime-time television shows and movies have been working under
the terms of a contract that expired June 30, with the hope of avoiding
a repeat of the 100-day writers strike which shut down production of
dozens of TV shows and cost the Los Angeles area economy an estimated
$2.5 billion.