ACTRA will poll members about strike

Union says negotiations have yielded little progress

TORONTO -- As contract talks between Canadian actors and North American commercial producers continue in deadlock, ACTRA said Tuesday that it will poll its members regarding a possible strike.

Toronto-based ACTRA, which represents 21,000 performers, said that 17 months of negotiations on a National Commercial Agreement have yielded little progress.

Stephen Waddell, ACTRA's national executive director, said that his bargaining team now requires a strike mandate to back talks with representatives from the Institute of Communications Agencies and the Association of Canadian Advertisers.

ACTRA said it will tally up strike ballots from its members following an Oct. 14 deadline.

The last National Commercial Agreement expired June 30. A government conciliator in July stepped in to help restart negotiations between the actors and advertisers, and will next meet with both sides Sept. 25.

The rising Canadian dollar has meant fewer U.S.-based commercial producers have shot TV ads in Canada in recent years.