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COMMERCIAL ACTORS THREATEN STRIKE.

Byline: Robert Monroe Staff Writer

The western contingent of the country's two largest actors' unions set the stage for what could be the first major entertainment industry strike in 12 years, voting unanimously Tuesday to authorize a walkout if a contract is not reached by May.

The Joint National Board of Directors of the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists objects to a proposal by the television and radio advertising industry to give actors a flat fee for their work in commercials on cable networks.

Actors want to extend the current pay system of compensating them each time a commercial appears on network television.

They also demand a compensation provision be established for ads appearing on the Internet and want airings of commercials to be monitored to ensure an accurate count.

Currently, said SAG spokesman Greg Krizman, advertisers count how many times a commercial runs and compensate actors appearing in them using an honor system.

``We want to end that honor system,'' he said.

The strike could still be averted if the advertisers return with a better offer between now and May 1, Krizman said.

``They would have to exhibit some real good faith bargaining,'' he said.

The Eastern Section of the SAG/AFTRA board of directors voted to authorize the strike Sunday, after rejecting a final offer from the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Association of National Advertisers.

But the vote of their West Coast counterparts was needed to give final authorization to the strike, which is scheduled to start May 1.

Spokespeople representing the negotiators of the two New York-based advertising organizations could not be reached for comment.

But the AAAA website calls the ``pay-per-use'' compensation the unions want extend to cable ads ``outdated'' in an April 6 update.

``We remain hopeful that if both sides can accept that the pay-per-use method is conceptually flawed in today's market, the economic gulf separating the parties can be bridged.''
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 19, 2000
Words:326
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