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Producers punt into August

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Live by the negotiation delay, get hoisted on the same petard. To utterly mangle metaphors. Now it’s the producers’ turn to say, “ah, let’s wait.” In this case, they’re only waiting ’til August (ah, but when in August?), while — they claim — they wrap up some negotiations with Teamsters Local 399.

It’s much more a big game of “psych-out!” rather than an actual negotiation, so far. You can read the Reuters-distributed story — picked up from the Hollywood Reporter — right here.

An excerpt follows below:

Producers postpone contract talks with writers

By Carl DiOrio

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – It’s hurry up for one Hollywood labor group and wait for another.

The Writers Guild of America’s film and TV contract talks have stalled until at least August because studio representatives have told the writers that they first have to wrap an agreement with some blue-collar union locals whose contract is about to expire.

The Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers is scheduled to resume negotiations with Teamsters Local 399 and several craft unions July 30-31. It’s believed that an agreement is close for the drivers, electricians, plumbers and others, but nothing is guaranteed. Those workers’ current pact is set to expire July 31.

In the meantime, the talks for movie and broadcast scribes are on hold.

“They have told us they will be unable to meet until those negotiations conclude,” WGA West spokesman Neal Sacharow said Friday. “We’ve indicated to them (that) we are prepared to meet whenever they are ready to negotiate.”

An AMPTP spokesman confirmed that the studio group said it can’t meet again with the WGA until after its talks with the Teamsters group. This week is lost for any writers sessions because the AMPTP is preoccupied with prep work for the Teamsters talks, the spokesman said.

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