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Canucks voting on strike mandate

Wages a stumbling block

TORONTO — The union representing Canada’s film and TV performers announced last week that it has asked its members for a strike mandate.

Negotiations between the Alliance of Canadian Cinema Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) and the American Producers and the Canadian Film and TV Production Assn., which have been going on since last October, have produced “very little headway on the major issues,” said ACTRA national director Stephen Waddell in a press release.

Wages are a primary stumbling block. “The producers are asking us to take cuts, in some instances of 40%,” said ACTRA communications director Alex Gill, “and in an industry that’s booming, with box office records being set in the U.S. and numbers being strong in Canada, that’s something that our members are not willing to consider.”

The ballots, sent out by mail Thursday, are due back by the end of May. If the majority of the union’s 14,000 performers vote yes, and an agreement is not reached in the final round of negotiations scheduled for the second week of June, ACTRA will call a strike, Gill said.