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Mayor Warns About Hollywood Strike

April 20, 2001

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LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Prolonged strikes by Hollywood writers and actors would cost the local economy nearly $6.9 billion and push the region into an economic slowdown, according to a study commissioned by Mayor Richard Riordan.

``Make no mistake about it, a prolonged strike would plunge our city and county into recession,″ Riordan said Thursday.

Riordan said he commissioned the study to measure the economic impact of a walkout by the Writers Guild of America and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists.

The study predicted that 82,000 jobs could be lost if strikes occur.

Riordan said the study should force the unions and producers to sacrifice some of their own interests in favor of the common good.

The report was compiled by the Milken Institute, an economic think tank, and Sebago Associates Inc., an economic and public policy consulting firm.

The mayor has said previously that Los Angeles can expect strikes to cost jobs both inside and outside the entertainment industry. Police, fire, sanitation and other city services could also face tax revenue shortfalls as a result, he said.

Contracts covering TV and movie writers expire May 1, and representatives of the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers resumed negotiations on Tuesday after breaking off talks in March.

Contracts expire June 30 for both the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists, whose members are closely following the writers talks.

The WGA is asking for more money for writers when programs are rebroadcast domestically and in foreign markets, and when shows are distributed on video, DVD and the Internet.

The actors’ unions, which cover 135,000 performers, have not yet made their contract demands public.

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