AFTRA Primetime Television Contract Draws Support
from AFL-CIO, DGA, IATSE, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
LOS ANGELES (June 18, 2008) – The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) has received tremendous support from the labor community as well as Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for the successful negotiation of a new three-year primetime television contract (Exhibit A of the AFTRA Network Television Code) with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
AFTRA—the nation’s second largest performers’ union—represents more than 70,000 actors, recording artists, broadcasters, and other talent working in the entertainment and media industries.
The AFTRA National Board recently approved the new labor pact, which achieves substantial improvements in wages and working conditions for all its members, by a 91% margin on June 7. AFTRA members were mailed ballots on June 17 and ballots are due back by July 8.
AFTRA primetime TV dramas and situation comedies include “Rules of Engagement,” “Cashmere Mafia,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Flight of the Conchords,” “Dante’s Cove,” “Til Death,” “Reaper,” the new CBS programs “Project Gary” and “Harper’s Island,” and the ABC comedy “Roman’s Empire.” The current contract expires on June 30, 2008.
The new primetime television contract is the fourth major agreement AFTRA negotiated this year. The other three contracts, all of which have been ratified, are the AFTRA Network Code, the AFTRA Sound Recordings Code, and the ABC/CBS Network News Contracts.
Below are statements of support from the AFL-CIO, DGA, IATSE, and the Mayor:
Maria Elena Durazo, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO:
“On behalf of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, and the working men and woman of Los Angeles who are engaged in the fight for good jobs, I am very pleased to congratulate members of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, on successfully reaching a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on a new three-year primetime television contract.
Your success at the bargaining table is a testament to the leadership and hard work of the men and women—all working performers—who negotiated the new agreement. AFTRA members have won the fight to ensure that jobs in the entertainment and media industry remain good jobs with fair pay, good benefits, and safe working conditions.
These are challenging times for working people that require a strong voice to speak up and act to support workers and their families. The more than 25,000 members of AFTRA Los Angeles are important partners with all workers in the Los Angeles Labor Movement—and you have made invaluable contributions to the 2008 Fight for Good Jobs.
Working people throughout Los Angeles salute your achievement in winning a new primetime television contract.”
Michael Apted, President of the Directors Guild of America:
“The DGA applauds the successful conclusion of the AFTRA/AMPTP negotiations. This deal demonstrates that no matter how challenging the issues, when both sides are determined to take a positive approach to problem-solving, concrete advances in jurisdiction, wages and working conditions can be made. We congratulate the strong leadership of Roberta Reardon, Kim Roberts Hedgpeth and the entire AFTRA Negotiating Committee on their successful efforts to improve and preserve the creative and economic rights of AFTRA members.”
Thomas C. Short, President of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees:
“I.A.T.S.E. congratulates the tentative agreement negotiated by AFTRA/AMPTP. This tentative agreement demonstrates the difficult challenges confronting complex issues in our industry when responsible parties put working members first; there are generally positive outcomes. This clearly demonstrates that approach being successful. I offer my personal congratulations to the exceptional leadership of Roberta Reardon, Kim Roberts Hedgpeth and the entire AFTRA Negotiating Committee.”
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa:
“I applaud the efforts of AFTRA and the television producers to come to a fair agreement. During these difficult economic times, our top priority is to keep this City working, and I am optimistic that SAG and AMPTP will come to a fair and quick resolution as well.”
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, is a national labor union of over 70,000 actors, singers and recording artists, dancers, announcers and other broadcast talent performers, journalists, and other artists working in the entertainment and news media. With more than 30 Local unions across the country, AFTRA promotes the success and welfare of members in a variety of ways, including contract negotiation and enforcement, advocating on legislative and public policy issues, supporting equal employment opportunities, and sponsoring or supporting health and retirement benefits and programs. For more information, visit http://www.aftra.com.