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Picketers try to influence SAG talks

February 17, 2009 12:57:32 PM PST
SAG contract talks are finally back on, and picketers gathered on Tuesday to try to influence negotiations.This is the first time the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and the Screen Actors Guild have met in nearly three months.

Demonstrators stood outside to express just what kind of contract they want.

It's a contentious issue. Some want SAG to settle quickly, saying they've lost jobs since the old SAG contract lapsed, and they want to go back to work.

"We're here today to encourage successful negotiation," said demonstrator Jon Philion.

"We're hoping that they'll see our faces and see how many people are out of work right now," he said.

SAG member Scott Wilson said it's not about getting swimming pools and bigger homes.

"We're talking about bread and butter issues," he said.

Wilson said everyone wants a fair contract, but he and other SAG hardliners feel the contract now being negotiated won't consider the dramatic changes in the business, such as Internet downloads and other new media. Without residuals from that kind of play, many actors will lose actors, he said.

"Our members are going to lose 50 to 60 percent of their income. That means there'll be no contributions to their health plans, which means thousands of our members will be knocked out of health coverage," Wilson said.

"Those are pretty serious issues."



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