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ACTRA on strike

Transmitted by CNW Group on : January 8, 2007 11:00

TORONTO, Jan. 8 /CNW/ - ACTRA is on strike as of today, Monday, January 8, 2007 in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. ACTRA will be on strike in the rest of the country shortly, except British Columbia that is under a separate agreement.

"Regretfully, ACTRA has begun the first strike ever in our 64-year history," said Richard Hardacre, ACTRA's National President.

"ACTRA offered significant discounts and flexibility on internet use. What the producers want is the right to distribute our members work, worldwide on the internet, for free. That's not acceptable," said Stephen Waddell, ACTRA's National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator.

Canadian actor Eric Peterson, said, "Enough is enough. I've had to take a fifty to seventy-five per cent pay cut over the past five years. Actors have been hammered back to scale. And now here we are looking at demands from this trade association, trying to hammer down even those minimums."

Along with demands for free internet use, producers' final wage proposals would further widen the gap between Canadian and U.S. performers working side-by-side on the same sets in Canada.

Canadian actor Wendy Crewson said, "Professional performers don't work for free. Not on TV. Not on film. And not on the internet."

Canadian stars turned out in force to support ACTRA at the strike announcement news conference.

ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is a national organization of professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of 21,000 members across Canada - the foundation of Canada's highly acclaimed professional performing community.

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