Negotiations resume Sept. 18 as insurance, pensions looked into

Negotiators for record labels and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists have put talks on a two-month hiatus to perform research on health and retirement issues.

Bargaining will resume Sept. 18 in Gotham, with the current contract remaining in force during the interim. Negotiators made the move last week following three days of talks.

Both sides agreed last month to extend the June 30 expiration of the current contract, which generates annual earnings of about $150 million for 15,000 AFTRA members and covers performances by singers, music groups, narrators, choruses, actors and Broadway casts. AFTRA has more than 1,200 signatories to the pact, including the five major labels.

The union has stressed insurance and pensions issues at the talks, which began in mid-May. AFTRA has contended that any artist bound to a label contract should receive a minimum payment that guarantees continuing health coverage for the artist during the term of that contract.

AFTRA has also sought improved pension credit provisions similar to those in other AFTRA contracts.

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