Actors Guild Suffers Blow as Smaller Union OKs Contract

AFTRA approval weakens strike chance
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Jul 9, 2008 9:19 AM CDT
American Federation of Television and Radio Artists union president Roberta Reardon.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Despite a campaign by the larger Screen Actors Guild to convince them otherwise, members of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists yesterday approved a new contract with Hollywood studios, the Los Angeles Times reports. The ratification is seen as signaling weak support for an actors strike as SAG continues negotiations on its own deal with studios.

"It's hard to not see this as a setback because they invested so much in this and drew a line in the sand," one analyst said of SAG's stand. "It's probably going to limit their ability to negotiate for what they want." Added actor Ed Asner of the possibility of a strike: "The town has been fairly terrorized this year and actors don't have more guts than the average person. They realize the tremendous cost." (Read more Screen Actors Guild stories.)