Negotiations between studios and the Intl. Photographers Guild Local 600 began Tuesday for a new Gotham contract.

The negotiations are the first since the merger of the nation’s three camera locals into one guild, the Intl. Photographers Guild Local 600.

Given the early state of the talks, it is still unclear what impact the merger will have on the new contract. The last contract had been negotiated via the former New York Local 644.

Unlike negotiations on the West Coast — in which the Hollywood wing of the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees bargains with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers — in New York the locals negotiate on their own and directly with the studios, rather than with an association of studios.

The current three-year pact in New York expires April 30.

Members in Hollywood are covered by a contract that runs through 2000 and that was negotiated last year.

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