Unions repping some 600 actors voted overwhelmingly to end their strike, which has left Gallic dubbing studios virtually silent for the past 10 weeks. The unions suspended the strike as of Jan. 3, pending a new round of talks between union reps and end users Jan. 5.

The decision followed Dec. 29 talks between a government-appointed mediator, the unions and the end users (TV networks, video distributors and theatrical distribs).

“The atmosphere at the meeting was positive enough for us to recommend a suspension of the strike,” said a union spokesman.

The mediator, Simone Rozes, said she could see no major obstacle to accepting the dubbers as actors rather than their current status as extras. This has been one of the unions’ main demands.

Union members have been asking to receive residual payments for dubbed work, particularly from the TV networks, which rely heavily on U.S. films and series to fill their skeds.

According to the union spokesman, the Jan. 5 talks, the first direct contact between the two sides in almost a month, will focus on whether the end users are prepared to accept the dubbers’ status as actors. “If we get that recognition, then we can start talking about the amount of residual payments,” said the union rep.

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