SAG , AMPTP return to table

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SAG and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers returned to the table Tuesday after a three-day weekend break.

SAG's primetime and theatrical contract expires June 30 and, given the bargaining dynamics, few observers see an imminent deal. Tuesday marked the 22nd day of the negotiations, which began in April and were stopped in early May so that sister union AFTRA could start formal talks on its primetime TV contract.

Last week, AFTRA inked a deal with the studios, allowing SAG to return to the negotiations. SAG has yet to comment in any depth on the AFTRA deal but the union's president, Alan Rosenberg, issued a terse statement last week indicating they were in the process of reviewing the deal and how it impacts their negotiations.

Rosenberg and chief negotiator Doug Allen have been outspoken about standing firm on their demands, including an increase in DVD residuals, which the other unions, including AFTRA, the WGA and DGA, took off the table in order to move forward.

Observers with knowledge of the talks said it's unlikely SAG, the last of the creative unions to bargain with the studios, will be able to make any strides in increasing those residuals. The studios, led by negotiator Nick Counter, have refused to budge on the formula.

"One thing you have to remember about negotiations is that it's give and take and should result in a compromise," labor attorney Alan Brunswick said.
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