SAG update: With no new deal, actors will continue working...for now | EW.com

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SAG update: With no new deal, actors will continue working...for now

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The labor agreement between the Screen Actors Guild and Hollywood’s producers expires at 12 a.m. on
July 1st. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers released a
statement on Monday afternoon saying that a “final” offer worth $250
million has been presented to SAG, but added that they would continue to work
under the terms of the old contract while SAG considers the offer. “Our
$250 million offer is consistent with the four other labor agreements already
reached this year with DGA, WGA, AFTRA Network Code and AFTRA Prime-Time
Exhibit A,” the statement said. “In addition, our offer addresses
issues that SAG identified as being of utmost concern to its members, including
tailoring our new media framework for SAG in areas such as feature films and
significant gains for working actors.”

SAG responded later in the day with a statement of its own: “The Screen
Actors Guild…remains committed to negotiating a fair deal for actors as soon
as possible. The AMPTP today delivered a last-minute, 43-page offer that upon
initial examination appears to be generally consistent with the AFTRA deal,
particularly in its provisions relating to new media. The union is
reviewing the complex package and will prepare a response to management once
that analysis is complete.” The statement went on, “This offer does
not appear to address some key issues important to actors. For example,
the impact of foregoing residuals for all made-for-new-media productions is
incalculable and would mean the beginning of the end of residuals.” (Pictured at left is SAG president Alan Rosenberg.)

The parties are scheduled to meet again on Wednesday afternoon, and actors
have been instructed to continue working through the expiration of their
current labor agreement, until they hear more from SAG.

addCredit(“Alan Rosenberg: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images”)

“I think it’s a smart and not unexpected move by the producers to break
the deadlock that we’ve seen in the SAG talks,” says Jonathan Handel, former counsel for the Writers Guild of America.

The AMPTP proposal to SAG is economically richer than the contract that SAG’s fellow union,
AFTRA, agreed to, because SAG covers movies and more TV shows. SAG likely will wait
to make another move until after AFTRA tallies the vote of its membership on
July 8 — even though SAG has been campaigning against AFTRA’s deal in recent
weeks. “If SAG manages to defeat the AFTRA contract, they may well take a
strike authorization vote,” Handel speculates. “If they don’t, then
there are two possibilities really. If the AFTRA deal passes by only a bare
margin — 50-60 percent — SAG will probably declare a moral victory and still
not give in. If the AFTRA deal is overwhelmingly ratified, then eventually SAG
will come around to recognize the reality here. I don’t think we’ll see a SAG
deal until late July or early August, at the earliest.”

In their statement, the producers stressed that a strike would devastate an
economy that is still trying to recover from last winter’s 100-day writers walkout,
saying a work stoppage would cost the state of California $23 million per day. “In
short, our final offer to SAG represents a final hope for avoiding further work
stoppages and getting everyone back to work,” the AMPTP statement read.
“That is our goal, and we hope it is shared by the members of SAG.”

“I think it’s a smart and not unexpected move by the producers to breakthe deadlock that we’ve seen in the SAG talks,” says Jonathan Handel, former counsel for the Writers Guild of America.

The AMPTP proposal to SAG is economically richer than the contract that SAG’s fellow union,AFTRA, agreed to, because SAG covers movies and more TV shows. SAG likely will waitto make another move until after AFTRA tallies the vote of its membership onJuly 8 — even though SAG has been campaigning against AFTRA’s deal in recentweeks. “If SAG manages to defeat the AFTRA contract, they may well take astrike authorization vote,” Handel speculates. “If they don’t, thenthere are two possibilities really. If the AFTRA deal passes by only a baremargin — 50-60 percent — SAG will probably declare a moral victory and stillnot give in. If the AFTRA deal is overwhelmingly ratified, then eventually SAGwill come around to recognize the reality here. I don’t think we’ll see a SAGdeal until late July or early August, at the earliest.”

In their statement, the producers stressed that a strike would devastate aneconomy that is still trying to recover from last winter’s 100-day writers walkout,saying a work stoppage would cost the state of California $23 million per day. “Inshort, our final offer to SAG represents a final hope for avoiding further workstoppages and getting everyone back to work,” the AMPTP statement read.”That is our goal, and we hope it is shared by the members of SAG.”