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AFTRA, music labels set talks date

Org skeds rally outside Sony Music offices

Negotiations between dancers for music videos and record labels will resume Jan. 11-12 after a six-month break.

The American Federation of Television & Radio Artists, which reps the dancers, made the announcement Thursday night.

AFTRA also has scheduled a Jan. 6 rally in front of Sony Music offices in Beverly Hills to support the dancers. Board member Jason George and dancers Teresa Espinosa and Dana Wilson are set to speak.

The moves come two months after AFTRA drew more than 160 dancers and choreographers to a standing-room-only “It’s About Time” forum in North Hollywood to show support for the unionization move.

AFTRA’s current deal on its sound recording contract includes an agreement by the labels to bargain for a music-video agreement to replace an agreement negotiated in 1986. AFTRA negotiator Randall G. Himes complained at the October event that after a negotiating session on June 21, the labels had stalled in responding to AFTRA’s proposal and setting dates for more talks.

AFTRA contended that the 1986 agreement is outdated, especially with ad-supported streaming services, music videos generating growing revenues.

The “It’s About Time” campaign, launched with a series of videos to coincide with the MTV Video Music Awards in late August, calls for a contract that includes safety, fair pay, residuals and health and retirement benefits.

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