Saturday, November 22, 2008

It's Official: SAG Wants Strike.

I just received the following email. I have only one word: unbelievable. After holding firm on deal points that AFTRA and all the other unions agreed upon, and after a federal mediator did not rule in favor of SAG, and in this horrific economy --SAG wants to strike.  But they don't want to put out ballots to vote for a strike until they have "educated " the membership. My greatest education was when I became a producer.  I spent 7 YEARS of my life working  to make a movie, promote the movie and find distribution. My biggest SAG actor worked a total of no more than 12 DAYS.  And yet if any check comes in, it's only the SAG actors who'd get paid. Don't get me wrong.  I'm a SAG actress, and I'd love to earn more money.  But I see the bigger picture. DISTRIBUTORS should be paying these upgrades, not the producers. That's where the money lies, and therein lies the problem. I can't imagine that with any amount of "education" this strike authorization will pass, but regardless, I wish that these officials would try their hand at producing and get a bit of an education as well. These are very scary times.  According to the Associated Press, the recent writer's strike cost the Los Angeles area economy an estimated $2.5 billion. 

November 22, 2008
Dear Screen Actors Guild Member,

The National TV/Theatrical Negotiating team was optimistic that federal mediation would help to move our negotiations forward, but despite the Guild's extraordinary efforts to reach agreement, the mediation was adjourned shortly before 1:00 a.m. today.

Management continues to insist on terms we cannot responsibly accept on behalf of our members. As previously authorized by the National Board of Directors, we will now launch a full-scale education campaign in support of a strike authorization referendum. We will further inform SAG members about the core, critical issues unique to actors that remain in dispute.

We have already made difficult decisions and sacrifices in an attempt to reach agreement. 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.

We remain committed to avoiding a strike but now more than ever we cannot allow our employers to experiment with our careers. The WGA has already learned that the new media terms they agreed to with the AMPTP are not being honored. We cannot allow our employers to undermine the futures of SAG members and their families.

No timeline has been set for the mailing or return of the strike authorization ballots.

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