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SAG leader calls strike talk 'a distraction'
[June 29, 2008]

SAG leader calls strike talk 'a distraction'

(AP Online Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) LOS ANGELES_The leader of the Screen Actors Guild said Sunday the union remains committed to negotiating a new deal with Hollywood producers as contract expiration looms and is not calling for a strike.

Anxiety has been growing in Hollywood that actors might walk off the job or that studios could lock out performers on the heels of the Writers Guild of America strike that devastated production from November through February.

The SAG contract runs out at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

"We have taken no steps to initiate a strike authorization vote by the members of Screen Actors Guild," union president Alan Rosenberg said in a statement Sunday. "Any talk about a strike or a management lockout at this point is simply a distraction."

SAG leaders have been fighting a deal reached between producers and another actors union, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Results of voting by that 70,000-member union are due July 8.

AFTRA and the 120,000-member SAG have 44,000 members in common. SAG leaders are urging their members who also are in AFTRA to vote against the deal, saying they can strike a better bargain with producers if the contract is defeated.

SAG has said it is willing to continue talks with producers after its own contract expires.

Copyright ? 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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