ACTORS UNION TALKS: DEVELOPING A THRILLER?Byline: Jesse Hiestand Staff Writer
A day after their contract expired, union actors and studios kept Hollywood in suspense Sunday by continuing to negotiate with no indication of progress.
At stake is a new, three-year deal that the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television & Radio Artists want for the principle benefit of their middle-income members.
Both the actors and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers also hope to avoid a strike that could cost the Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. region some 21,000 jobs and $1.3 billion in income in just the first month.
The two sides traded proposals for at least eight hours on Sunday, shifting from meeting in caucuses of their own negotiating teams and sidebar sessions in which the two sides met in small numbers to compromise on finer details of the contract.
The actors came into the talks May 15 with about 36 demands. Producers insist it's closer to 85 issues when complex formulas for the union's 135,000 members are taken into account.
Representatives of the actors and studios say they are moving ahead ``day by day'' at AMPTP's Encino headquarters. No details are being released as the parties adhere to adhere to
verb 1. follow, keep, maintain, respect, observe, be true, fulfil, obey, heed, keep to, abide by, be loyal, mind, be constant, be faithful
2. a strict news blackout.
As the deadline loomed at midnight Saturday, the negotiators unexpectedly recessed three hours early. Rather than signal an impasse or breakdown, they said they needed a break to rest before resuming Sunday.
Throughout the day, various members of the committees ventured out to take breaks in the AMPTP's courtyard along Ventura Boulevard Ventura Boulevard is one of the primary east-west thouroughfares in the San Fernando Valley; as it was originally a part of the El Camino Real (the trail between Spanish missions), Ventura Boulevard is the oldest route in the San Fernando Valley. It was also U.S. , at times huddling next to walls in what little shade was available.
For now, union actors will continue to be covered by terms of their old contract.
The actors unions are not wielding wield
tr.v. wield·ed, wield·ing, wields
1. To handle (a weapon or tool, for example) with skill and ease.
2. To exercise (authority or influence, for example) effectively. See Synonyms at handle. the strike threat as a bargaining tactic, saying instead that they have no plans to begin the strike authorization process. It would take at least a month for members to approve a walkout.
Both sides have expressed optimism that a new contract will be reached, much as the Writers Guild of America The Writers Guild of America is a term often referring to the joint efforts of the Writers Guild of America, East and the Writers Guild of America, west. Jointly, the two guilds act as the collective bargaining representative, or labor union, for writers in the motion picture and did on May 4 by reaching a tentative agreement with AMPTP AMPTP Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers
AMPTP Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers three days after their old contract ran out.
SAG/AFTRA leaders are seeking gains similar to those secured by writers, including an annual increase in the minimum payments actors get for speaking roles.
Another major issue are the residuals that, for about 6 percent of union members, allow them to make a living of about $30,000 to $70,000 annually.
Residual increases are being negotiated for shows and films rerun re·run
The act or an instance of rebroadcasting a recorded movie or a recorded television performance.
tr.v. re·ran , re·run, re·run·ning, re·runs
To present a rerun of. on basic cable TV, foreign TV, video-DVD and video on demand.
SAG (1) A momentary drop in voltage from the power source. Contrast with spike.
(2) (SAG) (SQL Access Group) See CLI. and AFTRA AFTRA American Federation of Television & Radio Artists want to bolster the ranks of their middle-class members, who they say are losing income to studio practices such as paying even veteran actors no more than minimum for guest shots on TV shows and smaller film roles.
Even though it is just 6 percent of members, the middle class is the level of success most aspiring actors have a chance of achieving, union officials said. About 70 percent of union actors make $7,500 or less each year.
The studios and networks say they must contend with rising production costs, which are driven in part by the salary demands of series stars.