Thought we were all done with this? Think again: After its attempt to negotiate with the conglomerates failed (again) on Friday, the Screen Actors Guild announced it will mount a “full-scale education campaign” to convince its 120,000-plus members to support a strike authorization vote. The union needs approval from 75 percent of its voting members in order to launch a strike. SAG has been working without a contract since June and is the only major Hollywood union without a deal. The writers, directors, and daytime soap stars have already hammered out their own agreements with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.
“Critical issues unique to actors remain in dispute,” according to a union statement. “We have already made difficult decisions and sacrifices in an attempt to reach an agreement. Now it’s time for the SAG members to stand united and empower the national negotiating committee to bargain with the strength of a possible work stoppage behind them.”
Given the country’s deepening recession, it seems unlikely the membership would favor another crippling strike—especially going into awards season. Another work stoppage could result in the cancellation of the Golden Globes, which was already reduced to a cheesy press conference earlier this year because of the 100-day writers’ strike. No timeline has been set for the mailing or return of strike authorization ballots.
The AMPTP released this statement Saturday: “SAG is the only major Hollywood guild that has failed to negotiate a labor deal in 2008. Now, SAG is bizarrely asking its members to bail out the failed negotiating strategy with a strike vote – at a time of historic economic crisis. The tone deafness of SAG is stunning.”