Telemundo, Actors Guild Reach Tentative 3-Year Deal (1)

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By Chris Marr

Spanish-language television performers have reached a tentative labor agreement through a Screen Actors Guild affiliate, the union announced July 12.

Telenovela performers represented by the Screen Actors Guild American Federation of Television and Radio Artists have agreed on a tentative three-year pact with Telemundo Television Studios, the guild said.

The deal comes after 15 months of negotiations, following the performers’ vote to unionize in March 2017, according to SAG-AFTRA.

The tentative agreement covers performers on Telemundo’s “scripted dramatic productions in the U.S.,” Alfredo Richard, a spokesman for Telemundo and its parent company NBCUniversal, confirmed in a statement emailed to Bloomberg Law on July 12. He declined to comment further on the deal.

SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris called the deal “a historic moment for Spanish-language performers in our industry,” in a written statement. The tentative agreement includes new minimum pay rates, residual income, and participation and contribution to guild health and pension plans.

The 2017 vote to unionize followed a campaign by SAG-AFTRA to highlight what it described as unfair pay and benefits discrepancies between English-language performers at NBCUniversal and Spanish-language performers at the affiliated Telemundo studios.

Vote Set for July 21

The guild called the March 2017 union vote the largest at a major television network in 65 years. A SAG spokeswoman couldn’t immediately provide the number of performers covered. The contract is due for a vote by SAG-AFTRA’s national board on July 21.

The TV studio is glad to reach an agreement after “a thoughtful and productive negotiation” with Telemundo performers, Richard said. Both Telemundo and NBCUniversal are units of Comcast Corp.

The bargaining unit covers talent on U.S.-produced Telemundo telenovelas, including actors, dancers, singers, and stunt performers, according to the guild.

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