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Another Strike Looming In November


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The Screen Actors Guild could go on strike before the end of November.

In a message sent to members late Thursday, SAG president Alan Rosenberg and national exec director Doug Allen told members that the national board will meet next weekend on the question of whether to conduct a strike authorization over SAG's master contract on features and primetime. If the national board approves, the leaders said than SAG will then need 30 to 45 days to hold such a vote among members.

"If 75% of the qualified SAG members who vote in the referendum support the strike authorization, only then can the national board of directors call an actual work stoppage, should the board decide that it has become necessary to do so," Rosenberg and Allen said in the missive.

The duo noted that it was "important" to note that if passed by a majority of the national board, the resolution does not call a strike. "It only provides for a membership referendum to be conducted, which will take approximately 30 to 45 days," they said.

In a response issued Friday, the congloms took issue with the assertion by Rosenberg and Allen that the authorization wouldn't lead to a strike.

"SAG negotiators seem determined to force another unnecessary, harmful strike," the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers said. "Why else would SAG negotiators be unreasonably insisting, at a time of national economic collapse, on a better deal that the one achieved by the other

Hollywood Guilds much earlier this year, during much better economic times?"

The notice is the guild's first official notification of members of a possible timeline for a strike. However, it's uncertain whether SAG's national board will support sending out the strike authorization when it meets on Oct. 18.

Rosenberg and Allen noted that SAG

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Well here we go again. Sometimes it doesn't seem worth the time to get wrapped up in any shows on network television. These strikes seem to be coming more often than not so why bother watching at all?

This is so frustrating. :furious3:

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If this delays LOST yet AGAIN... :mad1::gunsmilie::gunsmilie::gunsmilie::mad1: grr!!!

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  • 1 month later...

Efforts by a federal mediator to break apart the contract stalemate between SAG and the majors have led to a face-to-face meeting Thursday -- the first such confab between the two side in over four months.

Neither the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers nor the Screen Actors Guild would confirm the meeting but sources close to the situation said the get-together had been set.

Federal mediator Juan Carlos Gonzalez met twice with both sides over the past month in an effort to resume the talks. The Screen Actors Guild requested mediation on Oct. 19.

The meeting does not necessarily represent a resumption of formal contract negotiations, which broke off July 16 after 42 sessions. The AMPTP's insisted repeatedly that it's done negotiating and will not revise its final offer.

The AMPTP's scheduled to hold negotiating sessions Monday through Wednesday with the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees over the West Coast contract covering 18 locals and about 25,000 below-the-line workers.

SAG's given no indication it it's willing to ratchet back its demands, particularly in new media. SAG's negotiators have contended they have to achieve a better deal than the other Hollywood guilds. The congloms have asserted that they're only willing to tweak parts of the final offer -- which contains similar terms to the WGA, DGA and AFTRA deals.

The congloms' final offer, touted as containing $250 million in pay gains over three years, was issued June 30 as the guild's feature-primetime contract expired.

SAG's national board also announced a month ago that its negotiating committee would have the power to determine if the mediation has failed and whether to send out a strike authorization to SAG's 120,000 members. That vote -- which would take at least a month -- would have to generate approval from at least 75% of those voting for a strike to be called.

SAG's national board saw control shift from the more aggressive Membership Faction to a moderate faction in September. That panel would have final say over calling a strike.

Source: Variety.com

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Contract talks between Hollywood studios, actors fail; guild to seek strike authorization

11-22-2008 8:12 AM

LOS ANGELES (Associated Press)

-- The Screen Actors Guild said Saturday it will ask its members to authorize a strike after its first contract talks in four months with Hollywood studios failed despite the help of a federal mediator.

The guild said it adjourned talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers shortly before 1 a.m. after two marathon sessions with federal mediator Juan Carlos Gonzalez.

SAG, representing more than 120,000 actors in movies, television and other media, said in a statement that it will launch a "full-scale education campaign in support of a strike authorization."

"We have already made difficult decisions and sacrifices in an attempt to reach agreement," the statement said. "Now it's time for SAG members to stand united and empower the national negotiating committee to bargain with the strength of a possible work stoppage behind them."

The statement did not specify what led to the impasse, saying only that "management continues to insist on terms we cannot responsibly accept." A SAG spokeswoman said she would not comment further. A call to the movie producers group, known as the AMPTP, was not immediately returned.

SAG's national board has already authorized its negotiating committee to call for a strike authorization vote if mediation failed. The vote would take more than a month and require more than 75 percent approval to pass.

SAG is seeking union coverage for all Internet-only productions regardless of budget and residual payments for Internet productions replayed online, as well as continued actor protections during work stoppages

Earlier this week, the producers' group said it had reached its sixth labor deal this year, a tentative agreement on a three-year contract with the local branches of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts, accounting for 35,000 workers.

The stagehands alliance accepted Internet provisions that were modeled on agreements with other unions, the producers group said.

Actors in prime-time television shows and movies have been working under the terms of a contract that expired June 30, with the hope of avoiding a repeat of the 100-day writers strike which shut down production of dozens of TV shows and cost the Los Angeles area economy an estimated $2.5 billion.

So, after reading this, my question is...would you support the strike? I am personally fed up. We are struggling to keep our jobs and our homes, cutting back on purchases and trimming down spending due to the BLEAK economic picture right now- AND THEY WANT TO STRIKE? C'mon, actors. Just think of all the behind the scenes people you will put out of work because you want MORE. I don't think there will be as many behind the strike as were with the writers. I, for one, will be very, very disappointed and will not support it. I will, however, stock up on some good books...kayo

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I'm a little torn on the subject.

I don't know if you are all familiar with the industry plans to eliminate hard copy rentals of TV and movies. it's not just Netflix, but Blockbuster too. The goal is to have all your movies rentable through electronic delivery only, this includes services like In Demand.

As it stands, actors would not get one red cent for these "rentals." They are looking to the future, and although I don't know the details of what they're asking for, I don't think it's just an issue of asking for a pay raise.

Actors have been trying to protect themselves against what happened to the actors in the 1960's that never saw a cent from the millions studios collected from TV syndication.

Take for example The Munsters." The cast only got paid for the first three re-runs, the millions after that all went to Universal and the producers. "The Munsters" will probably continue to make money for decades to come and yet the actors stopped getting paid in 1967.

I agree that with the economy being in the dumper we don't need a strike. I hope they can work it out.

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Thanks for the post, Morty. It helped me to see it from another perspective and with more depth. I hope that they are able to work this out too- it just seems like both sides would be willing to compromise a bit more. The economic times should play a factor in the compromise as well, imo.

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  • 4 weeks later...


SAG Strike Good News for Reality TV

December 20, 2008 05:00:51 by Paulene Hinds

The Screen Actors Guild, or SAG, has announced it will mail ballots to its 120,000 members on January 2, 2009 requesting authorization to strike against production studios. Votes will be tabulated by January 23rd and Union leaders will need 75 percent approval to proceed. While last year

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  • 2 weeks later...

Courtesy of: ZAP2IT

SAG Faction Wants New Negotiators

Actors union remains divided as strike decision looms

By Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times

January 2, 2009

Adding to the drama that has engulfed contract talks between actors and Hollywood studios, moderates on the Screen Actors Guild board are expected to push for the ouster of the union's negotiators.

The move, which is designed to break the six-month-long deadlock, could undermine the guild's current leadership, which some fear is bringing Hollywood to the brink of another strike.

SAG has been shaken internally by rival membership groups that take opposing views on what course of action the 120,000-member union -- the largest in Hollywood -- should take in efforts to reach a new contract with the studios. But despite those sharp differences, the strategy has largely been set by the union's hard-line leadership, which includes guild President Alan Rosenberg and Executive Director Doug Allen, the chief negotiator.

Now a coalition of the union's board members, frustrated at the stalemate with the studios that has left SAG in limbo, is expected to call for disbanding the union's negotiating committee at an upcoming meeting.

It also plans to vote against holding a strike referendum, and instead replace the current negotiating team with a "task force" appointed by the board, people close to the situation said. The people asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to discuss the plans.

The negotiating committee is dominated by the Membership First faction that has backed Rosenberg and Allen, whose future as the union's chief negotiator also could be on the table at the Jan. 12 meeting, the people said.

The new negotiating team would be constituted to reflect the results of an election last fall, when a group of moderate actors known as Unite for Strength won key seats on the board, forming a slight majority with supporters in New York and elsewhere.

If approved, the new negotiators would seek to jump-start talks with the studios, probably by consenting to new media pay terms negotiated by other unions in exchange for improvements in traditional media pay areas. Such a move, however, would be a major blow to SAG leaders, who've argued that a strike authorization from members is needed to give them leverage with studios in what they view as landmark negotiations that could determine how actors are paid in the digital era.

But the proposed referendum has faced mounting opposition within the union, including from New York board members who this month called on the union to scrap the vote, arguing that it was ill-timed in light of the sour economy. The recommendation won a significant boost from more than 130 high-profile actors, including Tom Hanks, George Clooney and Sally Field. Other actors, including Martin Sheen, Ed Asner and Mel Gibson, are openly supporting the authorization, splintering Hollywood's largest union.

"Obviously, the board has to consider withdrawing the strike authorization given what's happening, and we may need to shake things up to get what we need," said Ned Vaughn, spokesman for the Unite for Strength group who serves as an alternate member of the national board.

Added Paul Christie, a board member and former president of SAG's New York division, "We feel this is a negotiating committee that has... gotten us nowhere."

Actors have been without a contract since June 30. The question is how willing studios will be to sweeten the current offer on the table, which studios have repeatedly insisted is their final one, even though it contains some provisions that are widely unpopular, such as a proposal to eliminate mandatory mealtimes.

Negotiating committee member Anne-Marie Johnson said it would be "undemocratic" to prohibit members from voting on a strike authorization because the studios' final offer was unacceptable.

Johnson vigorously defended Allen, whom critics accuse of mishandling the negotiations as well as alienating the smaller sister actors union, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. "To want to fire your lead negotiator whose only fault is that he's trying to get the best possible contract he can get, baffles the mind," Johnson said.

Allen could not be reached for comment.

Allen said in an e-mail to members last week that he and Rosenberg postponed plans for the strike referendum, which was scheduled to begin Friday, to "address the unfortunate division and restore consensus." However, he said, the vote would proceed immediately after the Jan. 12 meeting.

Rosenberg was not available for comment. In a recent holiday message to members, he called on them to put aside their differences. "We must stay true to our solidarity votes in the boardroom and true to our responsibility to better the lives of all SAG members and their families. Make no mistake, a house divided is doomed to fall."

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