AFTRA Approves Three-Year AMPTP Pact


The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists approved a new three-year contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on terms similar to those previously accepted by members of the Writers Guild of America and the Directors Guild.

The union said 62.4% of its 70,000 members voted in favor of the contract, now effective from July 1 through June 30, 2011.

Factions in Hollywood's other union for actors, the Screen Actors Guild, which shares 44,000 members with AFTRA, had lobbied against approval of the pact, arguing that voting down the agreement would give SAG more leverage at the negotiating table.

The AMPTP said it has presented SAG with its “last, best” offer. SAG is scheduled to announce July 10 at 2 p.m. (PT) whether it will accept the AMPTP's offer. The contract between those parties expired on June 30.

In a prepared statement, the AMPTP said, “We appreciate today's vote of confidence by actors in the agreement we negotiated with AFTRA, and hope that it demonstrates to SAG's Hollywood leadership that there is support for the new economic relationships we have built with writers, directors and actors -- and not much support for a strike, whether de facto or real.”

The AMPTP’ statement also expressed the wish that SAG leadership would let its members vote on the proposal, which the producers group said provides $250 million in additional compensation and new-media rights.

SAG president Alan Rosenberg, encouraged by the fact the vote wasn’t necessarily a landslide, issued the following statement: “Clearly many Screen Actors Guild members responded to our education and outreach campaign and voted against the inadequate AFTRA agreement. We knew AFTRA would appeal to its many AFTRA-only members, who are news people, sportscasters and DJs, to pass the tentative agreement covering acting jobs.”