Negotiators from SAG-AFTRA and the advertising industry met for the first time Thursday on a new commercials contract, and they agreed on one thing: a news blackout.
The two sides issued a joint statement following the session characterizing the initial meeting in New York as "cordial and positive." There was no word on when a subsequent meeting would take place.
The current agreement, which covers an estimated $1 billion in work, will expire on March 31. SAG and AFTRA negotiated a one-year extension that carried the existing agreement into 2013 in order to focus their efforts on a merger, which was approved by union members last March.
The talks with the American
Wages and working conditions will be the key issues. The two sides had planned to wrestle with a restructuring in the way commercial residuals are calculated, but in November decided to take that off the table until more data could be accumulated.
Here's Thursday's statement:
"Representatives of the Joint Policy Committee and SAG-AFTRA today commenced negotiations on successor agreements to the commercials contracts.
Today's talks were cordial and positive and both groups look forward to productive bargaining under a jointly agreed upon media blackout already in effect. We will have no further comment."