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Hollywood Actors to Begin Contract Talks

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Apr. 2 2008, Published 1:42 p.m. ET

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Hollywood's main actors' union, the Screen Actors Guild, said Tuesday that it would begin talks on a new labor contract with the studios on April 15.

The result could once again set the scene for a cliffhanger, paralyzing the television and movie industries much like the recent writers strike.

Reuters is reporting that SAG, which represents about 120,000 members, will negotiate a new three-year pact with the film studios' bargaining arm, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

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Seven weeks after screenwriters ended a 100-day walkout that crippled film and television production, the industry remains in the throes of a "de facto strike" because nervous filmmakers have postponed or ditched projects that could be affected if actors do not reach a deal by the contract's June 30 expiration date.

In February, hollywood stars George Clooney, Robert De Niro, Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep took out newspaper ads urging leaders to commit to negotiating a deal quickly.

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In a statement, SAG said it looked forward to "productive negotiations." The AMPTP said it had no immediate comment.

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