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Workday panel formed

In a response to calls to address problems with the lengthy hours worked in the industry, Hollywood’s guilds and studio management are planning to form an overall committee to look into the long workday and its impact on production, sources said on Wednesday.

Plans are for the committee to be made up of an equal number of reps from the studios and from labor, including those from the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Screen Actors Guild, the Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America. No dates have yet been set for the committee to meet.

News of the committee’s formation came after the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers and the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees met for regularly scheduled quarterly meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday in Palm Springs.

Some locals, such as Intl. Photographers Guild Local 600, have been petitioning for a proposal for a maximum of a 14-hour workday. But that proposal has been viewed by management as impractical, with officials citing the variables involved in production. Instead, reps for management say they will be looking for measures that would cut down on the possibilities for a long workday.

And even members and leaders of some locals in the IA, such as Props Local 44, are skeptical of the proposal. It would have required midstream changes to the IA contract, even though it does not expire until the year 2000. Among other things, some members depend on overtime pay as a large share of their income.

The DGA in March decided to form its own committee to deal with the long hours, and their positions are expected to then be brought to the industrywide group.

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