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Union Votes Against Strike

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Jul 09, 2008 | 5:22am EDT

A Hollywood union has taken the first step towards warding off a potential actors strike--by voting in favor of a new contract with studio bosses.

Members of the 70,000-strong American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) have agreed to ratify a contract drawn up in association with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP)--which represents the major studios and networks.

The previously tentative deal now looks set to be confirmed, with 62.4 percent of members voting in favor on Tuesday.

Hollywood's larger acting union, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), is still in talks with the industry's major studios in a bid to resolve a dispute over pay and conditions and prevent proposed strikes later this year.

SAG chiefs previously urged AFTRA members to dismiss the deal, suggesting it undermines their own contract.

But bosses at AFTRA have confirmed they will be pressing on with the agreement and union president Roberta Reardon admits she is delighted with result of the poll.

She says, "The vote reflects the ability of AFTRA members to recognize a solid contract when they see it."

SAG President and actor Alan Rosenberg has vowed to fight on to secure a better deal for his members.

The AFTRA deal is believed to be similar to the one that ended the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike earlier this year.

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