The Screen Actors Guild’s national board finally reached a consensus on that strike authorization issue this afternoon. They agreed to have the actors vote to authorise a strike. But the board also called for a federal mediator to be brought in to the actors’ negotiations with the studios, saying that they would only have members vote to authorise a strike if the negotiating committee feels that the mediation process has failed.
If a strike authorization vote went out to members it would require a 75% majority to pass. And this wouldn’t be a vote to strike, it would be a vote to allow SAG’s leadership to call for a strike. So, here’s hoping the mediation process produces a new contract without another strike, which would be, at least, several weeks away.
SAG’s full press release announcing its decision:
The Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors today passed the following resolution at its quarterly plenary in Los Angeles:
“In hopes of moving the Theatrical and TV negotiations forward, the national board hereby takes the following actions:
SAG will formally request a federal mediator be brought into the negotiations.
The Board adds four new members to the National Negotiating Committee, two from the Hollywood Division, one from the New York Division and one from the Regional Branch Division.
The Board authorizes a referendum and accompanying educational information be sent to the members requesting their authorization for the National Board to call a strike in the Theatrical and TV Contract, at such time as the Negotiating Committee determines in its sole discretion that the mediation process has failed.”
Adopted 96.72% to 3.28%
Approval of the strike authorization would require 75 per cent approval of members who vote.
“We hope mediation will help move this process forward. This action by the board demonstrates our commitment to bargain with the strength of our unified membership behind us. Economic times are tough for all Americans, but we must take a stand for what is fair,” said Screen Actors Guild National President Alan Rosenberg.
“Our number one goal remains securing a good contract without a strike,” said SAG National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator Doug Allen. “I am pleased by the board’s strong show of support for the national negotiating committee and look forward to meeting with the federal mediator and the AMPTP committee as soon as possible.”
Screen Actors Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) negotiating committees met for 44 days of formal negotiations and have not yet reached a successor agreement to the TV/Theatrical Agreement that expired June 30, 2008.
The board further resolved to add four new members to the negotiation committee, two from the Hollywood Division, one from the New York Division and one from the Regional Branch Division.
In response to SAG’s decision, the studios’ negotiating organisation, the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers, released the following statement:
The AMPTP has successfully negotiated four major labour pacts with Hollywood Guilds this year, and we would like to close a fifth with SAG. That said, there is simply no justification for SAG to expect a deal that is in excess of what the other Guilds negotiated in better economic times. No matter what SAG does – whether it be authorizing a strike or following a different approach – it will not change the harsh reality that currently confronts our industry.
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