Gearing up for a possible strike, leaders of SAG-AFTRA today met with talent agents to update them on the status of the union’s negotiations for a new film and TV contact.
David White, the union’s national executive director, gave the agents a one-hour briefing on the contract talks after today’s bargaining session with management’s Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. That the union would take the unusual step of reaching out to agents at this stage of the negotiations is a sign that the contract talks are not going very well.
A half-dozen agents took part in the meeting, along with Karen Stuart, executive director of the Association of Talent Agents. Stuart declined comment but confirmed that there was a meeting held at the AMPTP’s offices in Sherman Oaks.
Union leaders say they’ll ask their members for strike authorization if an acceptable agreement isn’t reached by Friday. On Sunday, the union accused the 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.”
The union will hold an informational meeting tonight at the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City to bring its members up to date on the status of the negotiations.
Actors haven’t struck the film and TV industry since 1980, but should a walkout be called, the union will have two strikes going on at the same time. It’s been on strike against selected video game companies for the last 251 days.