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Labels, AFTRA postpone talks

Both sides to prep actuarial research

Contract negotiators for record labels and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists have put talks on a second two-month hiatus to perform research on health and retirement issues.

Bargaining had been set to resume today, in Gotham but both sides have agreed to another extension, into November, to prep actuarial research.

The current contract will remain in force during the interim. The pact, which has been extended from its June 30 expiration, generates annual earnings of about $150 million for 15,000 AFTRA members and covers performances by singers, music groups, narrators, choruses, actors and Broadway casts.

More than 200 recording artists, including Johnny Cash, the Dixie Chicks and Korn, recently signed letters of support for AFTRA’s efforts to expand artists’ rights in the contract. The missives cited issues such as maintaining health insurance coverage, pension credits, the right to acquire and market their recordings, “unreasonably long contracts” and revenues from new technologies.

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