Nag! Nag! Nag! These days there’s just no pleasing the AMPTP (now led by that princess of petulance Carol Lombardini, who’s still snookering all the moguls by not leveling with them about what’s really going on). Look at this latest exchange between Big Media’s footsoldiers and SAG over the big actors guild’s new special bulletin updating members about contract negotiations and postcard polling their views on the pact’s provisions and progress.
September 1, 2008 — AMPTP has issued the following in reference to a postcard mailing that SAG’s negotiators have sent to members: “It’s long past time for SAG’s negotiators to close this deal, and a mass postcard mailing is just another delay tactic meant to mask the fact that SAG’s negotiators have no coherent strategy. In fact, SAG’s postcard ‘poll’ appears to be designed to deliver just one thing: A result pre-ordained by SAG’s negotiators. With four new contracts this year, the Producers and the other Hollywood Guilds have moved on, and we are now back to work. The longer SAG’s negotiators hold out, the more SAG members will lose out on the new media rights and residuals, salary, pension and other increases in the Producer’s $250 million final offer.”
September 1, 2008 — Response to AMPTP from SAG national executive director and chief negotiator Doug Allen: “The AMPTP previously suggested that we send their last offer to our members and now that we have done so they object. It is understandable that the studios and networks are concerned about the members’ reaction to a proposal that contains incentives to produce non-union and no residuals for new media productions re-used by steaming on the Internet. It is appropriate that we inform our members and seek their input on these critical matters. The reason we don’t have a deal yet is because management hasn’t put an offer on the table that is acceptable to SAG’s Natiional Negotiating Committee and National Board. The AMPTP hasn’t yet been willing to modify their new media “template” to make it work for actors.”
September 2, 2008 — Statement by the AMPTP: “SAG’s mass postcard mailing is designed to give SAG negotiators the answer they want to hear – and only the answer they want to hear. The two questions on the postcard “poll” are written in a completely one-sided way, characterizing the June 30 final offer as unfair. The 12 pages of material accompanying the postcard are just as one-sided and are filled with misrepresentations. For example, SAG’s negotiators continue to insist that talks are ongoing. The facts are exactly the opposite: No informal negotiations regarding SAG’s TV/Theatrical contract have been going on, and for SAG’s negotiators to suggest otherwise is to intentionally mislead the membership. AMPTP has made the new media template work for directors, writers and actors (in two separate AFTRA agreements), and all have now gone back to work. It’s long past time for SAG members to begin enjoying the higher wages, plan contributions, streaming and other new media residuals already being paid to other Guild members.”