SAG delays strike authorization vote

by Paul William Tenny

Screen Actors Guild logoJust saw the story come across Variety about 20 minutes ago that SAG is postponing the strike authorization vote they had previously set for January 2nd. That vote would not have triggered a strike, but it would have given the national board the right to call one at any time. The New York board has risen holy hell over the prospect of a work stoppage, demanding that their own people go back to a bargaining table that the AMPTP refuses to sit down at even after nearly seven months with no progress

The national board will hold emergency meetings on January 12th and 13th.

I understand that a lot of members think that with the economy the way it is, that a strike would be irresponsible no matter how bad the AMPTP has been acting. While there is some sentimental and even practical merit to that argument, it doesn't outweigh the fact that if a strike couldn't get the right new media provisions that SAG has sought all this time, then nothing less than a strike will get it in the future. All this does is put off the inevitable if this is truly what SAG wants and won't give up on getting.

The U.S. economy could be in the dumpster concievably for nearly a decade, all during which the studios/networks will be making huge profits on a growing market that doesn't really exist today, and it'll just be all that much harder to get them to share those profits after they are in the hundreds of millions instead of the tens of millions.

Whatever the repurcussions, I don't think SAG can wait to strike unless they are prepared to give up on the new media gains forever.

in Film, Labor, Television


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1 Comment

I don't envy SAG -- they're dammed if they do, and dammed if they don't.

Personally, I think with the bad economy, AMPTP has SAG tea-kettle side up over a barrel. The problem is if SAG doesn't strike, then SAG members are jeopardizing their future rights to their fair -- fair -- share of "new-media residuals for programs sold as electronic downloads, also known as electronic sell-through."

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