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California Briefing / Hollywood

SAG turns down studios' offer

February 22, 2009|Richard Verrier

The board of the Screen Actors Guild, as expected, rejected the "final offer" by the Hollywood studios for a new contract covering the union's 120,000 members, creating fresh uncertainty about whether and when the seven-month labor dispute will end.

The rejection was widely anticipated because the studios' proposal contained a provision that SAG negotiators viewed as a nonstarter. Nonetheless, the move is likely to deepen anxiety in the movie industry, where production activity has already slowed.

The studios and SAG appeared close to striking a deal last week after the union's negotiators made what they said were key concessions, including accepting a framework -- modeled upon terms agreed to by three other Hollywood talent guilds -- for how actors will be paid for their work in content distributed on the Internet. But SAG negotiators balked at the studios' demand that the union's contract expire in three years, rather than two.

-- Richard Verrier

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