Actors talks moving slowly

'Countdown' strategy speculated

HOLLYWOOD — Film-TV contract negotiations between actors and studios continued moving at a snail’s pace Wednesday with both sides meeting separately in committees following a six-day break.

The lack of urgency is widely seen as a signal that the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists plan to use a “countdown” strategy and extend the negotiations to the June 30 contract expiration. Veteran labor negotiators say such a step is not a surprise because it enables both sides to portray themselves as having explored every option before reaching a deal.

Brian Walton, SAG’s chief negotiator, had predicted before talks started that talks would go down to the wire.

As of press time, no date had been set for resuming face-to-face talks as the negotiating teams continued studying each other’s proposals. The negotiators first exchanged proposals on May 15, then met again on May 18, 23 and 24.

Both sides continued to observe the news blackout.

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