To the Members of the Screen Actors Guild,
As you undoubtedly know, our 100 day strike is over and the WGA has a contract that covers new media. On behalf of the 12,000 members of the WGA West and East, I want to thank the Screen Actors Guild leadership, membership, and staff for your tremendous involvement and support.
Throughout the run-up to the strike SAG and WGA members and staffers spent countless hours preparing and briefing one another on the new media issues that we believe will affect us all in the years to come. We shared our proposals and held numerous strategy sessions among our leadership as well as making dozens of joint show visits to network and cable programs to prepare and engage our staffs and casts.
During the strike SAG members showed their solidarity by joining our picket lines throughout LA and New York, featuring both rank and file members and entire show casts. Your support was especially visible when SAG members made positive (and sometimes provocative) statements at our rallies and in the press. But it was never more vital to our cause than when SAG members chose to honor our picket lines on talk shows and, most especially, at the Golden Globes. The pressure that generated on the Oscars was undoubtedly a turning point in the strike.
For all of these reasons, I offer my personal, heartfelt, and sincere thanks. My gratitude extends to not only the hundreds of SAG members who walked and honored our picket lines but the 80 SAG staffers in LA and NY who worked those lines on every one of the 100 days of the strike. I especially want to single out your Organizing Director, Todd Amorde, your Deputy National Executive Director, Pamm Fair, board members Anne-Marie Johnson, Valerie Harper, Frances Fisher and Justine Bateman, your National Executive Director, Doug Allen, and most of all, your president, Alan Rosenberg. Alan’s personal involvement in our struggle on an almost daily basis gave our unions welcome encouragement and me tremendous personal peace of mind.
Now, as your union heads down the path that we blazed with your support so too must we return that support. We have learned a great deal from our struggle.and we are offering everything we have learned to help you face the challenge ahead. As you well know, our employers are diversified, multinational conglomerates. They drive a hard bargain and fight like hell. Among their favorite weapons is their ability to divide membership from leadership and from one another. They control mass media and have sympathetic correspondents who spread rumors and innuendo designed to make members think their leaders are inept, inexperienced, and even insane and to make leadership think their members are disaffected, dissatisfied, and disloyal. Any union’s bargaining strength is a function of what management thinks of its members’ determination and its leadership’s approval. Alan and Doug have been thoughtful and tenacious leaders throughout their tenures and I implore you to give them your faith, your resolve, and your patience in the months ahead. The more you trust them to do their job, the better they can do it.
What the Writers Guilds accomplished this year was the result of our internal solidarity, as well as support from sister Guilds and unions nationwide, led by yours. I wish you every success in matching our solidarity and in building that support and we will do everything in our power to help. Our slogan throughout this campaign has been, “We are all in this together.” Moving ahead, I hope that “we” will continue to include you.
Thank you again and good luck in your upcoming talks.