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Actors’ negotiations update

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One union contract is a done deal, but the second, and probably the most difficult, is still a cliffhanger.

First — AFTRA. The waiting is over. Tonight, AFTRA announced the results of the balloting on the tentative primetime television offer from the producers. AFTRA negotiators reached the tentative agreement with the AMPTP on May 28.

Last month, ballots were sent out to union members. AFTRA has 70, 000 members and claims 52, 000 of them are working actors. The ballots were due yesterday. Tonight, AFTRA revealed the ballot count.

AFTRA says 62.4 percent of the ballots voted “yes” and 37.6 percent voted “no” on the deal. There are reports that the lingering effects of the 100-day WGA strike and the sluggish economy prompted many members to take the offer.

On its website tonight, the AMPTP reacted to AFTRA’s ballot results by saying, “We appreciate today’s vote of confidence by actors in the agreement we made with AFTRA…”

In recent weeks, SAG has been campaigning against the AFTRA tentative agreement. About 40, 000 SAG members also hold AFTRA cards. The Screen Actors Guild is almost twice the size of AFTRA with about 120, 000 members.

Also, the SAG campaign against the AFTRA TV contract may have been a reason for the low approval rate. Most Guild contracts reportedly receive at least 90 percent approval vote.

Meanwhile, SAG sent out a press release earlier today saying it would meet wiith the AMPTP this Thursday afternoon and present its response to the producers’ so called last final offer.

Stay tuned.  

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