A group of post-production editors on Saturday Night Live are planning to strike next month after failure to reach an agreement with NBCUniversal.
The crew members, which total around 20 and who edit the pre-filmed segments for the venerable late-night variety show, have been negotiating with the studio through the Motion Picture Editors Guild, IATSE Local 700.
They plan to walk out on April 1. The issues surround pay and health benefits.
The guild made proposals to NBCU in December, and NBCU responded on January 13. The guild, however, found the offer unacceptable.
The staff threatening to strike first won union recognition pursuant to a card-check agreement with NBCUniversal in October. An arbitrator independently verified that a majority of employees had elected union representation.
The Motion Picture Editors Guild said that SNL’s editorial team was “paid far below industry standards” and highlighted that assistant editors, in particular, receive “just a fraction” of their union counterparts.
“The season is almost over. Not only is NBCU saying no to the union’s reasonable proposals – by offering annual increases that lag behind industry standards, they’re pushing for a deal that ignores the soaring cost of living and moves the crew backward in future years,” the guild noted. “NBCU claims they, too, want to reach an agreement. But we’re nearing the end of the season, and talks drag on.”
It added that the company has “refused to show SNL’s post crew the respect they deserve.”
“NBCU wants to shut us up – so we will yell louder,” the guild said.
In recent weeks, a number of cast members have shown solidarity with the group with many, including James Austin Johnson, who often appears as Donald Trump, wearing t-shirts bearing the phrase ‘Contract Now.’
Must Read Stories
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.