Jon Stewart, Union Man

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The Daily Show is getting unionized to the hilt.

Last week, the writers became members of the Writers Guild of America.

Wednesday, the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists brought the show officially into its contract--it had been covered under a side contract--as part of a new, three-year deal with Comedy Central.

AFTRA members had been working without a new contract since the old one expired in 2004.

AFTRA members appearing on Comedy Central prime time, scripted, top-budget shows, will get a big pay boost from a minimum of $1,202 under the old contract, to $2,557, with other shows, non-prime, smaller budget, adjusted down from that benchmark.

But because Daily Show is considered a non-scripted news magazine--and isn't in prime time to boot--it falls under a different part of the contract and its actors get a little less than that $2,557.

Not to worry, many are also writers, so they get both performer and actor pay, says AFTRA spokesman John Hinrichs.

The new contract also expands the numbers of performers and shows covered by the contract.

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