SAG, AFTRA back to joint ad negotiating

Deal resurrects abandoned collective bargaining relationship

SAG and AFTRA's national board announced Sunday an agreement to negotiate jointly on their new broadcast commercials pacts.

The decision essentially resurrects -- strictly for the commercials talks -- the labor organizations' traditional Phase One collective bargaining relationship that was abandoned for their respective negotiations on their primary film and TV contracts with studios and networks. AFTRA has accepted its own new terms for its next film and TV pact, while SAG has been caught in a protracted standoff in its contract talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers.

In their Sunday announcement, SAG and AFTRA said the AFL-CIO had helped them set guidelines for resurrecting Phase One for the commercials talks. Basically, the two labor groups promised to play nice with each other and sidestep the kind of jurisdiction squabbling that derailed joint bargaining on their film and TV pacts.

"A set of guidelines was established, including specific prohibitions on raiding and disparagement, in an effort to foster a healthy and productive joint bargaining relationship for these contracts," SAG and AFTRA said. "We look forward to working together to protect and advance the interests, careers and lives of all SAG and AFTRA members who work under the commercials contracts."

A joint committee has hammered out a list of contract proposals for the talks, with the commercials contracts negotiations now set to begin Feb. 23 in New York, officials said.
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