SAG-AFTRA and the advertising industry have extended the expiration of the master contract by two days to Saturday night.
The two sides made the annnouncement Thursday night an hour before the contract would have expired. It was the first announcement after seven weeks of silence during commercial contract talks.
Both sides have declined to comment on the talks, which launched Feb. 17 in New York City with the pledge that a news blackout would be in effect until there was a deal in place.
“SAG-AFTRA and the ANA-4A’s Joint Policy Committee on Broadcast Talent Union Relations agree to extend the Commercials Contracts until 11:59 p.m., Saturday, April 2, 2016,” the announcement said. “The parties will continue to negotiate, remaining under a media blackout.”
The current three-year contract covers roughly $1 billion in annual earnings for performers, but the union has made scant efforts to mobilize its 160,000 members about the issues.
The current three-year deal was the first major successor agreement to go into effect under the 2012 merger of SAG and AFTRA, and received 96% support in the ratification vote, with pay increases totaling $238 million during its three-year life. In the 2013 negotiations, which lasted two months, SAG-AFTRA made little effort to mobilize members in support of its positions and gave no details of the contract proposal.
The 2013 negotiations lasted eight weeks and concluded following a one-week extension of the expiration.