Quebec actors consider strike action

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TORONTO -- French-language film and TV production in Quebec is facing a possible disruption after the Union des artistes on Wednesday threatened an "imminent strike" if a new collective deal with local producers is not reached by July 1.

Raymond Legault, the newly installed president of the UDA, which represents 6,900 Quebec stage, TV and film actors, said pressure needs to be placed on Quebec producers body L'Association des producteurs de films et de television du Quebec (APFTQ). The two sides have been negotiating a new labor deal since December.

"The industry has changed radically. It's not the fault of the broadcasters or the producers, but the fact is there is lots of money circulating and the rules of the game must change to reflect that," Legault said at a press conference. "We need a new business model to better compensate artists."

Officials at the APFTQ could not be reached for comment Thursday. But in a statement, the producer association expressed disappointment at "the threat of an imminent strike" when negotiations were advancing.

The UDA-APFTQ talks are hung up over the thorny issue of new-media rights.

"By bringing pressure, we want the producer to know that, for us, this is a major issue and we want it resolved before July," Legault said.

English-language production in Quebec remains unaffected by the UDA's agreement with Quebec producers.
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