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SAG Gears Up for Contract Talks

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George Clooney & friends don't want this guy's job, as seen in January '08 | Photo © Copyright 2008 by Jonathan Alcorn (aka Sundogg) via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr

If there's one scene Hollywood actors aren't eager to rehearse, it's the one where they march back and forth in front of studios in shifts, carrying signs and accepting honks and donuts from sympathetic supporters. It's something the Screen Actors Guild is hoping to avoid, particularly in the wake of the lengthy and costly WGA strike that held the local staple industry and its workers hostage for 100 days starting last fall.

The Daily News reports that earlier this week, SAG members and officials held meetings in Century City in preparation for upcoming contract talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). Formal talks are expected to begin on Tuesday, three months ahead of the current contract's June 30th expiration date.

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On the table are concerns similar to those of the WGA, such as compensation for work distributed on and produced for "new media" like the internet and, to some extent, on DVD and in product-placement campaigns. SAG heads have put forth a firm stance on the need to have their wants met, whereas the other union headed in to the talks, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, has forecast their likely flexibility in the negotiations. With the negotiations taking place early, everyone is hopeful an impasse can be avoided; in the shadow of the WGA strike, the city and the business are weary of another walkout.

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