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Actors Unions Ratify New Contract

March 1, 2005

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Members of Hollywood’s two major actors unions have ratified a new three-year contract with film and TV producers in nationwide mail-in voting that ended Monday.

About 35,000 of the approximately 200,000 union members cast ballots, which the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists said was consistent with previous contract votes.

The new contract was favored 76.5 percent to 23.5 percent, the unions said in a joint statement. It goes into effect July 1 and runs through June 2008.

The unions reached the deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on Jan. 20. It includes a 9 percent pay raise over three years, provides more money for health and pension plans, and gives greater protections to stunt actors and extras.

Actors did not get a larger share of DVD residuals, which unions representing writers and directors had also sought unsuccessfully in recent negotiations.

``This contract represents a victory for solidarity, strategy and good sense,″ AFTRA President John Connolly said Monday. ``The majority of the negotiating committee kept their eyes on the real prize, which was to keep actors working and keep cameras rolling. The members then concurred with their votes.″

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