Calif. court denies appeal in actors contract talks

Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:41pm EST
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A California appeals court on Friday denied an attempt by the president of the largest U.S. actors union to block upcoming contract negotiations with Hollywood's major studios.

Alan Rosenberg, president of the Screen Actors Guild, earlier this month sought a court-ordered injunction to block a new SAG negotiating task force -- put in place by the union's national governing board -- from resuming long-stalled labor talks with Hollywood's major studios.

Rosenberg and his allies at SAG are at odds with more moderate board members over the union's negotiating stance.

On February 5, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Chalfant denied Rosenberg's request for an injunction, sending Rosenberg to the appeals court.

SAG and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the negotiator for the major Hollywood studios, are set to restart negotiations this coming Tuesday after a nearly eight-month stalemate.

The two sides are at odds on several issues, including how much actors should be paid for original work on the Internet, as well as TV shows re-distributed via the Web.

A representative for SAG and Rosenberg's attorney were not immediately available.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Todd Eastham)

<p>Tourists pause on a walkway at a shopping mall which offers a view of the famed Hollywood sign at the hills in California March 14, 2008. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>