Friday, May 16, 2008

AFTRA says it is 'making progress' in AMPTP talks

Actors union moving forward in talks with producers

By Leslie Simmons
May 15, 2008, 08:05 PM

As AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers continue their negotiations, the union sent its members an e-mail newsletter Thursday indicating that though it's limited in what it can divulge about the current talks because of a media blackout, the union is "making progress."

The e-mail, sent by AFTRA president Roberta Reardon, said that 31 working performer members are part of the prime time negotiating committee, chaired by Matthew Kimbrough. The committee has been "laboring diligently and responsibly in talks with the (AMPTP) regarding a new three-year agreement to Exhibit A of the Network Code," Reardon wrote. "We're making progress -- and the negotiating committee will be providing you with an update very soon."

Talks between the two sides started up May 7 after formal negotiations between SAG and the AMPTP ended without a deal the day before.

Exhibit A of the Network Code covers prime time TV dramas and sitcoms repped by AFTRA, including "Rules of Engagement," "Cashmere Mafia," " 'Til Death" and "Reaper."

The current contract expires June 30.


Raising hopes that some progress is being made in talks between members of the Screen Actors Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers after all, the two groups announced on Friday that they would return to the bargaining table.

The Screen Actors Guild has agreed to return to the bargaining table on May 28, or perhaps earlier, following the presumed conclusion of current negotiations between the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

SAG officials are due to provide members with an update on their position on the remaining issues facing the negotiators at a "town hall" meeting on Monday.

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