SAG-AFTRA members appear ready to strike if ongoing negotiations for a new film and TV contract fail to produce a fair deal. At least that was the consensus among members leaving tonight’s informational meeting at the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City.
“There was a lot of solidarity in the room,” said an actor leaving the meeting. “I certainly hope there won’t be a strike, but that depends on how the negotiations go.”
“We’re very united,” said an actress.
“Everybody’s united,” said a stuntman, who described travel and residuals from new media as “big problems.”
“They want to strike,” said another actor. “The AMPTP’s proposals are pretty ridiculous. People are mad, and there’s a lot of support for our position.”
“It was a good meeting,” said another. “Very strong, not a lot of applause.”
Tonight’s meeting came just hours after union officials met with representatives of Hollywood’s talent agencies to update them on the status of the contract talks — a sign that the negotiations are not going well.
Actors haven’t struck the film and TV industry since 1980, but union leaders have said they’ll ask members for strike authorization if an acceptable agreement isn’t reached by Friday. If a strike is called, the union will have two strikes going on at the same time: it has been on strike against selected video game companies for the last 251 days.
On Sunday, the union accused management’s AMPTP of demanding “outrageous rollbacks” at the bargaining table. According to union officials, the companies’ demands “will mean more for less — more hours, more work, more unreimbursed travel and less opportunity for fair compensation.”
SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carters and national executive director David White, who spoke at tonight’s meeting, have said the union has presented “reasonable proposals” at the bargaining table “to address the critical concerns facing our members and that are integral to making a living in this industry. The AMPTP has responded with outrageous rollbacks that cut to the core of our basic terms and conditions. Despite our efforts, the AMPTP has failed to move on our most critical issues.The status quo is simply unacceptable and our members, standing together, will not give in to management’s onerous demands nor back down on our critical proposals.”