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Canadian labor rift ends

The war is over between the Union of British Columbia Performers and the Alliance of Cinema, Television & Radio Artists.

A new agreement became legal March 1, and reps from both camps assure Yanks who shoot in the Pacific Rim province will be exempt from any future legal disputes.

“We’ve reached an agreement to affiliate with ACTRA,” explained Scott Swanson , prez of B.C. Union, which has technically become Local 2 of ACTRA.

“Even if disputes erupt, American producers working in Canada will not be involved.”

In a separate interview, John Rooney, Western regional exec director of ACTRA said Yanks have “insurance” to keep them out of any crossfire: “We’ve signed a fast-track arbitration procedure to resolve differences that might arise. But I don’t anticipate we will have much difficulty with each other.”

Rooney said that as of March 1, 1994, “The two organizations will be completely merged into one local of ACTRA in British Columbia.”

Swanson said the merger will proceed if “all goes well.”

Since the B.C. Union split from ACTRA two years ago, the latter “exercised their reciprocal agreement with (U.S. actor’s union) SAG and pressured the B.C. Union to renegotiate and work together,” Swanson said.

In the interim, “It’s been messy for some of the (American) producers getting drawn into the labor relations board and having to hire lawyers and all that sort of thing,” Rooney noted.

“It was causing difficulties for SAG here (in California), and we’re happy to see SAG will be caused less discomfort,” he said.

Swanson and Rooney worked hard at the just-concluded Location Expo to put up a united front and put their differences on ice.

“There is labor harmony once again in B.C. We want to work with the American producer to get the most money on the screen with the most cooperative union.”

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