Negotiations are first weekend talks in a month

SAG and the majors have agreed to meet over the weekend, with the guild’s feature-primetime contract on the verge of expiration.

Talks recessed late Friday afternoon and will resume Saturday morning in Sherman Oaks at the headquarters of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Neither side commented.

It’s the first time this month that negotiators have held a weekend session. Both sides have accused each other of stalling with SAG asserting that the majors haven’t yet matched the terms of AFTRA’s deal — reached May 28 — while the congloms have contended SAG’s waiting until AFTRA announces results of its ratification vote on July 8.

SAG has been attempting to persuade the 44,000 members who also hold AFTRA cards to vote down that deal due to its perceived shortcomings in new media, online clip consent, DVDs and salaries. AFTRA has vigorously defended its deal, noting the gains are in line with the DGA and WGA contract advances.

SAG announced Friday that more than 2,500 members have endorsed the anti-AFTRA stance.

SAG’s current deal expires at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday but talks are expected to continue after that. The guild still hasn’t asked its members for a strike authorization but the results of the AFTRA vote should provide a gauge of member support for a strike.

SAG has 120,000 members and AFTRA has 70,000. Saturday’s session will be the 40th between SAG and the AMPTP.

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