Studios focus on casting pact

Negotiations will begin Tuesday for four days

With SAG negotiations in a stalemate, the congloms are turning their attention to bargaining on a new deal with 400 casting directors next week.

Negotiations will launch Tuesday in Los Angeles for four days to replace the contract covering Hollywood and New York casting directors and associates. The current deal between the Intl. Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers expires Sept. 30.

“We’re expecting to negotiate a fair and reasonable agreement for both parties,” said Leo Reed, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 399, which reps the Los Angeles members.

No details were available about the casting directors’ proposals. Reed said a news blackout would be in effect during negotiations.

Casting directors entered into their first contract with studios and networks in early 2006. The pact included pension and health contributions, holidays, grievance and arbitration procedures as well as no-strike and no-lockout provisions.

The contract also covers casting directors repped through Teamsters Local 817 in New York. The Teamsters spent three years in an effort to organize the casting directors, one of the few significant groups of Hollywood workers who had not been unionized.

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