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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 January, 2005, 13:07 GMT
Union fights for Mexican Simpsons
The Simpsons
The same actors have been voicing the Mexican Simpsons for 15 years
The actors who voice The Simpsons for Mexican TV are involved in a dispute over the use of non-union labour.

The performers, who have worked on The Simpsons for 15 years, fear losing their jobs because the dubbing company is seeking cheaper actors.

The dubbing company for The Simpsons says it has asked the cast to continue but needs to hire other actors.

It blames the union for using tactics that have meant it has lost ground to rivals in Venezuela and Chile.

Mexico's National Actors Association accuses the company Grabaciones y Doblajes Internationales of threatening the livelihoods of 15,000 members by using non-union actors who tend to be paid less.

"We're not people who like to fight," said Humberto Velez, who is the voice of Homer Simpson.

"The only thing we know how to do is act. But we will never let people that aren't interested in agreements take away our rights for their own benefit. How am I supposed to take care of my kids?"

Broken provisions

He says he only earns about 600 pesos (28) per episode and felt obliged to stand up for his union.

The union says the company has broken provisions of an agreement that dictates the use of union labour.

But the company says it is struggling to remain competitive because of the union's actions.

"With attitudes like these, our country has lost ground for dubbing in Latin America," the company said.

"Much of this work today is done in Venezuela, Colombia and, more recently, in Argentina and Chile." A government arbitrator has been appointed to try to resolve the dispute.

Nancy Mackenzie, the voice of Marge Simpson, said: "You get to the point where you care deeply for your cartoon character.

"You love them. You go to bed with them at night. It's a sad state, and not because of the money. It's for love."

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