ACTRA-advertisers contract talks move to mediation

The current round of bargaining between the actors' union, ad agencies and advertisers appears hung up on the thorny issue of internet use of commercials.

Current negotiations between ACTRA and Canada’s ad agencies and advertisers have reached an impasse over key issues, including internet use of commercials, and have moved to mediation.

Stephen Waddell, ACTRA’s national executive director, says that his union has not sought a strike mandate from its rank and file, and expects a mediated settlement on outstanding key issues.

“We are working towards a settlement. Our interest is in reaching a settlement,” Waddell said

The current national commercial agreement expired on June 30, 2014.

The Institute of Communication Agencies (ICA) in a July 11 update to its membership pointed to “several challenging issues” in the current bargaining, and advised that the first day of a possible work stoppage was July 30.

Members were also advised to ensure all productions were completed by that date, in the event of a possible work stoppage.

The growing use of digital media, including the cross-over of commercials to the internet, was a hurdle to a settlement during the last two rounds of bargaining between ACTRA and the ICA and the Association of Canadian Advertisers in 2011 and 2008.

Reg Pearson, the Ontario’s labor ministry senior conciliator, is mediating the current round of negotiations.

Both sides will come together Monday for a day of scheduled talks without Pearson, and more dates are set for early September.

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