AFTRA members approve Sound Recordings Code

Three-year contract approved by 98.5% of members

AFTRA members have ratified a new national Sound Recordings Code by a 98.5% margin, the union announced Friday.

The three-year contract covers royalty artists and session singers who work with more than 1,200 companies, including the four major labels: EMI, Sony BMG, Universal Music Group and Warner. The contract covers pop music, as well as classical recordings, Broadway cast albums, Latin recordings and spoken word, including audio books.

The contract is effective immediately and expires June 30, 2010.

AFTRA president Roberta Reardon said the contract includes an immediate increase in session rates, improved health and retirement coverage for royalty artists and a new formula for compensation on digital downloads.

Negotiations with the record companies took place over 16 months, with an agreement reached in February.

Ratification of the contract concluded Thursday and was conducted by an online and phone referendum among members in good standing who had earnings under the Sound Code from 2002 to 2007.