NEW YORK (August 16, 2011) – The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO – a national union of more than 70,000 recording artists, broadcasters, actors, singers, dancers and other performers who work across the spectrum of media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings and digital media – commenced negotiations yesterday on Aug. 15 with representatives from the major record labels on a new, successor agreement to AFTRA National Code of Fair Practice for Sound Recordings. The current Sound Recordings Code is scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, 2011.
The opening round of bargaining was held in New York City where the AFTRA National Sound Recordings Code Negotiating Committee and staff met with representatives from Sony, UMG, Warner, EMI, Disney and most of their subsidiary labels. AFTRA National Executive Director Kim Roberts Hedgpeth is serving as Chief Negotiator for the Union.
The AFTRA Sound Recordings Code, which originated in 1951 as the American Federation of Radio Artists (AFRA) Phonograph Recording Code, is the Union’s second largest national contract. The Code covers singers, royalty and non-royalty artists, as well as announcers, actors, comedians, narrators and sound effects artists who work on recordings in all new and traditional media and all music formats, in addition to audiobooks, comedy albums and cast albums. The Sound Recordings Code generates more than $140 million annually in AFTRA-covered earnings and benefits for both major artists and session singers around the country.
The AFTRA National Board of Directors recently approved the Union’s package of proposals for the new agreement at its face-to-face to plenary in Seattle on July 20. Negotiations are expected to continue throughout the month of August with bargaining sessions set to occur in both New York and Los Angeles.
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, are the people who entertain and inform America. In 32 Locals across the country, AFTRA members work as actors, broadcasters, singers, dancers, announcers, hosts, comedians, disc jockeys, and other performers across the media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings, music videos, commercials, audio books, non-broadcast industrials, interactive games, the Internet and other digital media. The 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists of AFTRA are working together to protect and improve their jobs, lives, and communities in the 21st century. From new art forms to new technology, AFTRA members embrace change in their work and craft to enhance American culture and society.