Members of SAG-AFTRA have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike against the television animation industry. The union didn’t release the vote total, but said that it was approved by 98.27% of those who cast ballots.
“This vote sends a message that we are united and puts our negotiators in the best position possible,” SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris told her members in a statement posted on the guild’s website. “It is important to note this referendum result does not mean members are on strike. Rather, it gives the national board the authority to declare a strike if absolutely necessary. We will keep negotiating with producers for a contract that guarantees members scale wages and residuals for animated programs made for streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon.”
“Our work doesn’t stop here,” she added. “We must stay engaged. Together, we will ensure our members get the fair contract they deserve.”
Management’s AMPTP said in a statement that it’s been engaged in “meaningful discussion” with the union for a new television animation agreement and a new basic cable animation agreement for several months. “Those discussions have yielded progress, but there are still a few open items to resolve. Given the animation poducers’ longstanding positive relationship with the leadership of SAG-AFTRA, as well as their commitment to exploring a variety of ways to reach a deal, we hope that talk of a strike can be put aside in favor of ascertaining the facts about the business that are relevant to the issues that separate us and finding ways to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement.”
The Animation Guild, IATSE Local 839, meanwhile, is preparing for its own negotiations with the AMPTP. That contract expires at the end of August.