Defeat for SAG and AFTRA in Canada

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TORONTO--Canadian arbitrator Paula Knoph in a ruling handled down last week said the U.S. Screen Actors Guild/American Federation of Television & Radio Artists interim labor agreement is not applicable to either Canadian or U.S. unionized actors working in Canada.

During the SAG actors strike against U.S. advertrisers, many production companies and ad agencies moved commercials production to Canada and argued they should be able to pay the union wage rates specified in the now expired U.S. SAG/AFTRA contract.

In the U.S., SAG and AFTRA have asked prodiction companies andagencies to sign an interim labor agreement calling for higheractor fees pending agreement on a new long-term union contract.

The Association of Canadian Television & Radio Artists (ACTRA) had demanded on behalf of SAG and AFTRA that all talent appearing in commercials filmed in Canada for U.S. use during the strike should be paid pursuant to the SAG/AFTRA interim agreement. The arbitrator totally rejected this demand.

The arbitrator concluded in her decision that until SAG concludes successful negotiations for renewal of its commercials contract with the American advertising industry, the terms and conditions that expired on March 31, 2000 shall be applicable in Canada.

Copyright June 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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