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SAG Rejects "Final" Offer

02/22/09 01:00 PM ET   AP

Hollywood Sign

LOS ANGELES — The Screen Actors Guild board of directors on Saturday rejected the "last, best and final offer" by Hollywood producers for a new contract.

The contract was rejected by 73 percent of SAG's board members, spokeswoman Pamela Greenwalt said in a statement.

SAG called the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers' demand for the contract to run for three years instead of two, "regressive and damaging."

Producers insist the three-year contract would start when it is ratified, instead of when the last one expired, which would mean SAG would not be able to join with the writers' and directors' guilds to increase their bargaining power when their contracts expire in 2011.

A statement released by the producers alliance said its offer was strong and fair and it had always sought a three-year deal, just as it had negotiated with other guilds and unions.

"We simply cannot offer SAG a better deal than the rest of the industry achieved under far better economic conditions than those now confronting our industry," the statement said.

AMPTP spokesman Jesse Hiestand declined to comment beyond what was in the statement.

Greenwalt declined to comment when asked what the next step in negotiations would be.

SAG is the last holdout among several unions that have agreed to long-term contracts. The guild has opposed the producers' previous offer, saying it failed to guarantee guild coverage in productions made for the Internet and failed to make residual payments on made-for-Internet content that is rerun online, among other issues.

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Filed by Katherine Thomson  |