AFTRA members have approved, by nearly 99 percent, a new, three-year contract with the major record labels. Voting closed on Monday.
The new contract includes base rate wage increases of 2 percent each year of the contract. It also increases the amount employers contribute to health and retirement funds on royalty income by 1 percent over the life of the agreement, expands performers' participation in revenue from the sale of digital downloads and establishes a new payment structure for new areas of low-budget licenses.
The ratification is retroactive to Jan. 1 and runs through Dec. 31, 2014.
The Sound Recordings Code originated in 1951, and covers session singers, royalty artists, announcers, actors, comedians and other sound effects artists. The Code generates more than $140 million every year in AFTRA-covered earnings and benefits for both major artists and session singers around the country.
AFTRA negotiators and representatives from UMG, Sony, Warner, EMI and Disney began talks Aug. 15. Negotiations became testy: In August, AFTRA's national board gave negotiators authorization to strike.