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Equity, LORT Reach Tentative 3-Year Deal

Strikewatch_blog   Actors' Equity Association reached agreement with the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) on a tentative three-year contract Sunday evening, concluding weeks of negotiations. Details could be announced tomorrow, but if you're a cardholder, you can follow this link and get more information today.

There is a bit of concern among regional theatres, as the nonprofit model has taken a three-way hit due to the economic collapse: foundations, well-heeled corporations, and individuals have already or are expected to decrease giving by a significant amount, a trend that could continue for a year or more.

According to a recent report in Equity News, the LORT agreement is used by more than 90 theatres and generated 60,000 work weeks in the 2007-08 season. Members' earnings exceeded $50 million during that time, the report stated. Though many regional theatres operate under agreements different from the LORT contract, it sets a template of sorts upon which all others are based. Equity national executive director John P. Connolly served as chief negotiator, and Robin Gammell of Los Angeles chaired the negotiating committee.

ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY: SAG-AFTRA renewed joint negotiating under Phase One today when they began negotiations with advertisers and advertising agencies for a new commercials contract. The two have had a rocky relationship for much of the past decade, as self-described moderates have pushed for a merger of the two unions and Hollywood-based faction Membership First (and its predecessor, Performers Alliance) have bitterly opposed such a move. Not counting contract extensions, we believe this is the first time the two unions have participated in active negotiations with an employer since the 2005 TV/film contract.

--Andrew Salomon

For the latest industry news and how it affects actors, go to Espresso.

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