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Canadian actors’ contract talks break down
TORONTO (Hollywood Reporter) – Talks between North American producers and Canada’s actors union have broken down, setting the stage for a strike in the new year.
The current impasse follows marathon negotiations that began November 23 and culminated Wednesday with the producers, including a host of Hollywood studio representatives, putting their first wage proposals for a new Independent Production Agreement, which governs wages and workplace conditions.
The actors were offered a one-percent wage increase in the first year, another two-percent increase in the second year and a one-percent increase in the third year of the proposed agreement. Representatives for ACTRA (the Alliance of Canadian Cinema Television and Radio Artists) promptly rejected the offer.
No new talks are scheduled before the current agreement expires December 31. Barring a last-minute breakthrough, ACTRA’s members will be in a legal position to strike in early January.
“We’re not going to give away the future for free. And we are not going to let our members’ pay continue to erode compared to other performers in North America,” said Stephen Waddell, ACTRA’s national executive director.
John Barrack, chief negotiator for the Canadian Film and Television Production Assn. (CFTPA), defended the wage increase proposal, insisting it was the same pay increase offered and agreed to by the Writers Guild of Canada last May.