Actors, studios take five in talks

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Representatives of two actors unions and the major studios called a temporary halt to marathon contract talks early Tuesday to get some rest, with plans to return to the bargaining table later in the day, Reuters reports.

The latest bargaining session ran for more than 16 hours before the two sides recessed shortly before 6 a.m.(EDT) with plans to resume negotiations at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
Union officials have said the terms of their old labor pact - which expired at midnight on Saturday - remain in effect as long as negotiations continue.

A final deal is expected to include increases in performers' minimum salary scale and in residual payments. Sources told Reuters one sticking point was a proposal to effectively give actors greater take-home pay from basic cable TV residuals by reducing pension and health plan contributions that are deducted from those paychecks. Another issue centers on increasing residual payments for TV shows sold overseas.

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