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SAG, AFTRA vow to strike

Hollywood's first major strike since 1988 is set to begin May 1, as Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) members vow to walk off the job in a protest over residual advertising payments.

The chief negotiator for the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and The American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA) said late last week that commercials would continue to be produced "as usual."

Last week, after negotiations reached a stalemate, both Hollywood unions voted unanimously to strike against the ad agencies and producers of radio and TV commercials. SAG and AFTRA are upset with a lack of residual payments for commercial actors and production employees on cable, radio, the Internet and broadcast television. The unions are calling for "pay-per-play residuals," so members involved with advertisements shown or aired repeatedly can get paid for their work.

"It sounds like [ANA and AAAA] are as determined as we are," SAG spokesman Greg Krizman said late last week. "We have a 93% vote from the memberships for a strike authorization, a unanimous vote of the joint boards to take this action. We are trying to establish pay-for-play in both network and cable, and they are trying to establish flat buyouts for both. So both of those positions seem pretty opposite ends of the world."

SAG and AFTRA have a combined135,000 members nationally, with about 35,000 directly affected by the strike.