Decrying management’s demand for “outrageous rollbacks,” the leaders of SAG-AFTRA say they’ll call for membership to authorize a strike if a “fair and equitable” deal on a new film and TV contact isn’t reached by Friday. Contract talks began on May 31, and have definitely hit a major roadblock.
“Your SAG-AFTRA negotiating team has been hard at work bargaining with the major studios and networks represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers for a new three-year contract covering motion pictures, television and new media,” said the guild’s president, Gabrielle Carteris, and its national executive director, David White, in a communique to their members that hit the guild’s website Sunday night. “We had hoped to be sharing the good news that we had reached a tentative agreement with the AMPTP but, unfortunately, their unwillingness to come to a fair and equitable agreement means we are coming to you with very different news.
“We have presented reasonable proposals 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.
“After a comprehensive update from the negotiating committee, the national board of directors today unanimously voted to authorize sending out a strike authorization referendum to SAG-AFTRA members, unless a satisfactory agreement is reached by June 30, 2017.”
The union cautioned that “a strike authorization is not a strike,” but a “powerful tool that authorizes your negotiators to call a strike if they are unable to secure a fair deal. If a strike authorization referendum is issued, you will receive additional information on the voting process. That said, our negotiating committee will use this tool if necessary. Now more than ever, our collective strength, unity and commitment is critical to securing the fair contract our members deserve. Stay engaged in the process and stand together in supporting each other and our negotiators.”