The Screen Actors Guild today released the following statement on behalf of SAG national president Alan Rosenberg in response to the NY Division’s demands:
“I am shocked and troubled that some members of our New York Board have issued a statement to the press regarding our October 2008 national board directive to send a strike authorization referendum to SAG members. Oddly, a portion of the group that now holds the majority of votes on our national board, and who voted as part of the 97% majority to send this referendum to members, has now reconsidered.
The global economy was failing before the new board voted in October to send this referendum. We are keenly aware of and sensitive to the fact that the economy has further declined since then. When economic times are tough, members rely on their union even more to protect them from management’s tactics. I believe we must be even more vigilant during these challenging times. The solution to the industry’s economic hardship must not be rollbacks that cripple our member’s ability to earn a living.
The national board must take these facts into consideration when deciding whether to exercise the authority we are seeking from the membership to call a strike. Only the newly constituted board that passed the strike authorization motion in October has the authority to call a strike once 75% of the members who vote approve the strike authorization.
The New York board never asked me to call a board meeting, and they did not take the opportunity to do so during our National Executive Committee meeting three days ago. In fact, I have never been notified of their “demands,” as their statement was sent directly to the press, not the Screen Actors Guild. This action encourages and emboldens the AMPTP and seriously harms SAG members throughout the country. Apparently, some of the NY board members’ responsibilities and obligations to SAG members come behind their own political agenda.
I will in fact call an emergency national board meeting, but for the purpose of discussing the ramifications of this extraordinarily destructive and subversive action of the New York Board. The board will be notified of the date and time shortly.”