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                A Joint Press Release from AFTRA and the National Latino Media Council

HISTORIC LATIN GRAMMY AWARDS IN SPANISH TO PREMIERE ON
UNIVISION UNDER INDUSTRY-STANDARD CONTRACT

In Contrast, Telemundo Insists on Broadcasting the “El Premio de la Gente” Awards Show
Without Applying Same Industry Standards to its Spanish-Language Performers

Los Angeles, CA, October 10, 2005 – The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and the National Latino Media Council (NLMC) today announced that the first-ever Spanish-language production of the Latin GRAMMY Awards will be produced by FRB Productions under an industry-standard AFTRA agreement for its broadcast on Univision.

Univision Does the Right Thing
AFTRA coverage of the show, scheduled to be broadcast live from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on November 3, represents a victory both for the Spanish-language performers who will receive industry-standard wages, benefits, residuals, and other protections for their work on the program, and for AFTRA, NLMC, and their allies in the community, in their efforts to apply industry-standard terms and conditions to performers and broadcasters in Spanish-language media. Such efforts have yielded mixed results to date, but the Latin GRAMMY Awards agreement with AFTRA could very well prove a turning point.

Telemundo Remains Uncompromising
Meanwhile, AFTRA’s negotiations with Univision’s competitor, Telemundo, for a national agreement, stalled in July of this year when the NBC/Universal-owned subsidiary refused to return to the bargaining table. When subsequently contacted about plans to broadcast its own award show, “El Premio de la Gente,” produced by Uno Productions and scheduled for taping in Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Forum on October 13, Telemundo representatives rebuffed AFTRA’s multiple offers to meet and bargain a contract covering the program. 

As a result, Spanish-language performers on Telemundo’s “El Premio de la Gente,” unlike their counterparts on the Latin GRAMMY Awards, will be denied the full spectrum of industry-standard wages, benefits, residuals, and other protections that come with a union contract.

Rebecca Rhine, AFTRA’s Assistant National Executive Director, stated, “We are gratified that Spanish-language performers on the Latin GRAMMY Awards will be covered under an industry-standard, union contract for their work. We acknowledge Univision for its willingness to step forward and ‘do the right thing.’ This contract belies the Telemundo claim that AFTRA is singling them out while leaving their competitor alone. No Spanish-language producer or network, no matter how large or small, should be permitted to apply a double standard to this work – especially not one owned by NBC/Universal. Bravo to Univision – now it is up to Telemundo to ‘do the right thing.’  We look forward to continuing our close collaboration with the NLMC and others to replace this double standard with the industry standard in Spanish-language media.”

“It is time for Telemundo to come back to the bargaining table and negotiate a fair union contract so that our Latino performers receive just compensation and benefits as their English-language counterparts in English-language television already enjoy,” said former Congressman Esteban Torres, NLMC chair. “Unionizing ‘El Premio de la Gente’ affords Telemundo the opportunity to demonstrate that Latino performers are also valuable and deserving employees.”

About AFTRA
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists – affiliated with the AFL-CIO – is a diverse national union representing over 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists in 32 Locals throughout the country. AFTRA members work as actors, broadcast journalists, dancers, singers, announcers, hosts, comedians, and disc jockeys in all aspects of the media industries including television and radio, sound recordings, commercials, non-broadcast/industrials, interactive games, and the Internet. For more information, visit AFTRA online at www.aftra.com.

About the National Latino Media Council
NLMC was created in 1999 and consists of 13 of the largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organizations in the nation. NLMC is dedicated to increasing Latino employment in the media industry, at all levels both in front and behind the camera and compensated at fair industry standard wages in Spanish and English-language media. NLMC is also the organization that signed Memorandums of Understanding with ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox which has increased the employment ranks of Latinos and other people of color at all four networks. The Coalition is chaired by former Congressman Esteban Torres. 


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