Thesps likely to add WGA demands into their pitch

Cooperation between Hollywood’s writers and actors unions has been on the rise as the Writers Guild of America preps for next week’s contract talks with studios.

That’s the conclusion participants took from a four-hour meeting at WGA headquarters involving leaders of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists. The informal talks, which drew about four dozen union reps, were headed by WGA West exec director John McLean and stressed the need for continued collaboration.

The confab indicates the SAG/AFTRA Wages & Working Conditions Committee probably will incorporate many of the WGA’s key economic demands — such as significant gains in residuals for cable, foreign, video and Fox — into their own proposals, which are due to be completed next month.

Several members of WGA’s negotiating team have been attending the actors’ Wages & Working Conditions meetings recently, and SAG and AFTRA have accepted the WGA’s invitation to send observers to the contract talks (Daily Variety, Jan. 17). The WGA’s contract expires May 2 and SAG/AFTRA’s film-TV pact ends July 1.

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