UK performers union Equity has given six months notice on its cinema film agreement with UK the Producers Alliance for Cinema & Television (PACT), in a move which could lead to a UK actors' strike.
Like the potential US actors strike, the dispute centres on residual payments to actors. Equity spokesman Martin Brown said: "If someone does one days work at the minimum rate on a UK film, they get $31.2 (£22) for all video uses for all time regardless of the film's success. What we want is payment linked to a film's success."
Arguing that UK actors were at more of a disadvantage than their American colleagues, Brown added: "US actors already get continuing payments, and are trying to extend them. We are trying to get them for the first time."
If a strike were to go ahead, it would hit films made by UK production companies. But it would not extend into television or advertising work.
Brown commented: "We are very keen to talk to PACT in a serious manner over what we think are very serious claims." PACT was not immediately available for comment.
The move comes as Equity showed strong support for US actor's union Screen Actors Guild (SAG) this week in its dispute with Hollywood studios. According to SAG, it is advising members not to work on US productions that are trying to escape a strike by moving to Britain.
"Actors on both sides of the Atlantic are united in feeling that the time is right for a breakthrough in the way actors share in the success of a film," Equity general secretary Ian McGarry, told SAG newsletter Call Sheet.