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Justin Timberlake and SAG-AFTRA have reached an agreement for the dancers on his 20/20 Experience World Tour to be covered by the SAG-AFTRA Touring Agreement, the union announced Friday.
Under the agreement, performer earnings count toward pension and health benefits eligibility. The deal also provides touring companies with what the union called “improved budget flexibility through direct negotiations with performers.”
SAG-AFTRA president Ken Howard applauded Timberlake and the SAG-AFTRA dancers who worked to unionize the 20/20 Experience tour.
“This is a wonderful result for SAG-AFTRA members and Justin Timberlake. Justin was very open to signing the agreement and personally making sure the deal got done,” Howard said. “As a leading recording artist and actor, Justin’s support for his fellow SAG-AFTRA members in unionizing his tour was a key element in concluding this agreement. I thank him for taking the lead.”
STORY: Secrets of the SAG-AFTRA Convention
This is the first time that member performers have successfully organized dancers employed on a specific tour under the SAG-AFTRA Touring Agreement. The agreement was previously utilized to cover touring back-up singers for James Taylor, Reba McIntire, Martina McBride, Blues Traveler, Josh Groban and Jefferson Starship.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, SAG-AFTRA national executive director David White called the agreement “precedent setting” and added, “I’m genuinely excited about this deal. We are expanding our presence in this area.”
Assistant national executive director for sound recordings Randy Himes also praised Timberlake and the dancers.
“The physical demands of touring are tough on our artist members and those members that tour with them,” Himes said. “I applaud the dancers for their dedication to this new agreement and give Justin the credit he richly deserves for stepping up and taking care of his elite dancer group. It’s just another reason why Justin continues to be one of the most respected performers in the media entertainment industry.”
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