Ken Howard

SAG-AFTRA to begin contract negotiations May 5

SAG-AFTRA to begin contract negotiations May 5

SAG-AFTRA, the union representing about 165,000 actors and other performers, said it will begin negotiations with Hollywood's major studios on a new film and television contract May 5.

The talks will be closely watched as they mark the first time the union has bargained on a film and TV contract since SAG merged with its smaller rival union, AFTRA, two years ago. Proponents of the merger argued that combining the groups would give them more clout in negotiations with the studios, which had contentious relations with the Screen Actors Guild in the past, including a near strike in 2008.

At a meeting Sunday, SAG-AFTRA's board unanimously approved the May 5 start date for contract...