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Argentine TV actors end strike

Union agrees to new salary, less hours

BUENOS AIRES — Argentina’s actors, broadcasters and producers reached an agreement late Monday on pay and working hours to end a six-day strike that had grounded production.

The Argentine Assn. of Actors will work nine-hour studio shifts with a one-hour lunch and receive minimum salaries of 6,300 pesos ($2,100) a month. 

The deal was brokered by Fernando Blanco, head of the Argentine Chamber of Independent Television Producers (Capit) who is also co-owner of production house Pol-ka.

Actors and producers will discuss wages again next December.

Thesps had insisted on a cut in shifts to 8.45 hours a day from 11 but producers insisted they needed actors on hand at least nine hours a day to make the telenovelas and other series that dominate midday and primetime and are increasing in exports.

Production of popular programs like comedy “Son de Fierro” (They Are Fierro) and teen telenovela “Patito feo” (Ugly Duckling) on Artear-Canal 13 will resume this week and networks will start airing new episodes they had in reserve.

Broadcasters lost an undisclosed amount of money during the strike because fiction series carry some of the highest ad rates. The nets rely on domestic fare for 75% of their programming and were forced to air repeats to help ease losses.

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