Union members propose alternate plan to end strike

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A proposal to end the 17-week-old commercial actors strike is causing upheaval within the ranks of the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television & Radio Artists as federal mediators and representatives of advertisers and the unions prepare to re-start negotiations Sept. 13.

The new financial model was submitted to the unions by 15 voice-over actors on Aug. 8. It suggests that advertisers compensate commercial actors based on a percentage of the advertisers' media buy, rather than the current pay-for-play plan the unions are demanding. Under the proposed model, commercial actors would command 0.002% of an advertiser's media buy.

`A FIRESTORM'

This "has caused a firestorm with union members" claimed David Prince, a co-author of the proposal and a voice-over actor and executive producer at Oink Ink Radio, Los Angeles.

"It's not a viable option," said Greg Krizman, SAG managing director of communications, of the proposal.

"Now is not the time to be changing horses," he said.

Under the terms of the plan, if McDonald's Corp., for example, makes a media buy of $40,000 for a single commercial, the talent would receive approximately $80. If McDonald's takes the same commercial and makes a smaller $500 media buy on cable, the talent payment would be $1.

The proposed plan says the new financial model would "create automatic hedges against inflation for performers, and the advertisers, in case of recession." And, since it's based on an advertiser's media spending, it is "the same way almost all advertising agencies get compensated for their work."

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