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SAG – AFTRA Disputes Continue

LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Acrimony continued between the two major talent unions, SAG and AFTRA over territorial disputes and structural changes to SAG's voting methods. SAG leaders met with AFL-CIO leadership recently to air their greivences and enjoin the AFL-CIO to intermediate, but according to Variety, the union has given no indication as of yet that it intends to intercede in the dispute.

The contratemps arose over a number of issues, primarily AFTRA's aggressive pursuit of contracts for television shows shot on a digital medium, an area that is supposed to be shared between the two unions and over SAG's shift to bloc-voting among its delegates in relation to the upcoming film and television contract negotiations.

"The bloc voting described by the trade press is of course completely antithetical to the history and purpose of Phase One and as a practical matter could result in unwieldy deadlocks during negotiations," one AFTRA officials wrote.

SAG's concerns are largely more territorial, voicing concerns over AFTRA's aggressive pursuit of digitally-shot cable television contracts. "We know that AFTRA has signed basic cable contracts with terms more generous to producers than SAG contracts," the SAG leaders told Variety. "We believe the practice is widespread but said we did not want to overstate the problem and suggested the best way to prevent any incorrect assumptions was to exchange the contracts."

These conflicts come at a challenging time for the unions. Upcoming contract negotiations may hang in the balance and some observers are expecting that a strike may be in the offing by next year. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers