Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Actors Union is also preparing to go on a general strike

Hollywood is on the verge of a second strike. SAG-AFTRA, the union that represents about 120,000 film and television actors, has voted to officially approve the call for a work stoppage. In the event that it is approved, and an agreement is not reached with the Hollywood studios in the negotiations that began on June 7, work will stop on the 30th of the same month as the date the contract expires.

As was the case with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) process in April, the strike authorization vote is a bargaining tool, not a guarantee that it will be implemented. Union members are voting to give their leaders the power to stop work if negotiations are unable to reach an agreement with the Alliance of Film and Television Producers (AMPTP).

SAG-AFTRA has a total membership of more than 160,000 members, including television and radio journalists, television presenters, announcers, singers, stuntmen, voice actors and other media professionals, in addition to actors. A union that could exert far more pressure than the Writers’ Union, which has only 11,500 members.

“For the first time in a long time, the leadership of our members stands in solidarity with the negotiating committee and national council to move forward with strike authorization. We must be prepared if necessary,” said SAG President Fran Drescher after-after. . “The prospect of a strike is not the first option, but the last resort. As my father always says: ‘Better to have than to have, to have or not to have!’

Drescher called on members to “follow the instructions of both the negotiating committee and the national board” and vote “yes” for authorization in a show of solidarity and strength.

Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator, said: “Strike authorization sends an important message during the bargaining process. A yes vote gives the National Board the power to call a strike if AMPTP is not fair Doesn’t matter in our next conversation.”

The last actors’ strike occurred in 2000, after which SAG and AFTRA merged into a single union. In recent years, the union has threatened to call an authorization vote (and did once, in 2018, on the TV animation contract) to strengthen its position, but failed to reach an agreement with AMPTP. I succeeded.

List of your requests

Many of the issues raised by screenwriters in their protest affect the average working actor as well. Among them, the disappearance of residual income in the era of streaming, the looming threat of artificial intelligence and the temporary nature of contracts leading to shorter television seasons with longer breaks between jobs. Also, for the actors union, it is a priority to regulate virtual or recorded casting tests at home.

Effect of two walkouts in Hollywood

With two major Hollywood unions on strike at the same time, the current situation in the industry could range from seriously disruptive to devastating. A general strike by SAG-AFTRA would affect far more than screenwriters, as it would paralyze all filming, dubbing of animated series, newscasts, entertainment programs, contests, reality shows, and even the production of commercials. Will give

To the possibility of a strike by the Actors’ Union, we must add the pressure from the Directors’ Union (DGA), which also has a contract with the Producers’ Alliance which expires on June 30. Although they have not called for a vote to authorize the strike, their leaders have expressed their solidarity with the WGA strike.

They also add to his claims, which have proved universal to the average Hollywood worker. The entertainment industry is likely to witness an unprecedented show of solidarity, which could force a major reckoning in the streaming era.

Nation World News Desk
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