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SAG-AFTRA reaches deal with record labels

June 01, 2012|By Richard Verrier
  • Music video performers do a flash-mob dance during a January rally in Beverly Hills. The rally was organized by AFTRA, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.
Music video performers do a flash-mob dance during a January rally in Beverly… (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los…)

SAG-AFTRA has reached a tentative agreement with the major record labels on a first-ever industrywide contract to cover dancers and performers who work on music videos.

The three-year deal with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and Walt Disney Co. was reached Friday morning. The negotiations had begun Wednesday.

"Our negotiations were productive, resulting in solid gains for SAG-AFTRA members," SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White said. "We also laid the groundwork for a cooperative partnership with the industry that will benefit members throughout the term of the agreement.”

Under the contract, dancers who work on music videos produced by or on behalf of the labels would receive a minimum daily pay rate and health and retirement benefits. The contract also provides for 12-hour rest periods, wardrobe allowances and a binding grievance and arbitration process.

"We are grateful for the strong partnership that we continue to have with SAG-AFTRA," said Lucian Grainge, Universal Music Group's chairman and chief executive. "This agreement not only reflects that relationship, but is testament to the vision that we share ... in working together to meet the many new challenges facing the music industry."

The agreement is the first major contract negotiated by SAG-AFTRA, which was created this year when the Screen Actors Guild merged with its smaller sister union, creating the largest labor organization in Hollywood with 160,000 actors, singers, dancers and other performers. AFTRA first began negotiations with the music labels in June 2011, but talks stalled in January.

The tentative agreement will now go to the SAG-AFTRA National Board for approval.

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