HomeNewsSAG-AFTRA Votes Overwhelmingly To Authorize Walkout in Support of Writers

SAG-AFTRA Votes Overwhelmingly To Authorize Walkout in Support of Writers

Six weeks after the Writers Guild of America went on strike, the membership of SAG-AFTRA has voted overwhelmingly to authorize a walkout in support of their colleagues. SAG-AFTRA, commonly known as the Screen Actors’ Guild, represents 160,000 performers across all media.

If SAG-AFTRA members join the picket line, it would put even more pressure on producers to resolve the dispute, which center on residual payments for new streaming platforms.
The union announced on Monday that 97.91 percent of the voting members backed the strike authorization, with 47.69 percent of its membership turning out for the vote.

Officials of the union were quick to endorse the decision. Fran Drescher, the president of SAG-AFTRA, said the vote would send a message of “strength and solidarity” while executive director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland declared it was “time for an evolution in this contract.”

According to Drescher: “The strike authorization votes have been tabulated and the membership joined their elected leadership and negotiating committee in favor of strength and solidarity. I’m proud of all of you who voted as well as those who were vocally supportive, even if unable to vote. Everyone played a part in this achievement. Together we lock elbows and in unity we build a new contract that honors our contributions in this remarkable industry, reflects the new digital and streaming business model and brings ALL our concerns for protections and benefits into the now! Bravo SAG-AFTRA, we are in it to win it.”

Even before Monday’s announcement, many SAG-AFTRA members had joined the WGA picket lines as a show of solidarity. The strike has already resulted in disruptions to production, notably for television programming.

In addition to the WGA demands, SAG-AFTRA wants to restrict the deployment of artificial intelligence in programming and is calling for higher streaming residuals as well as restrictions on self-taped auditions.

As a response to the strike authorization, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) reiterated its openness to a settlement, saying “We are approaching these negotiations with the goal of achieving a new agreement that is beneficial to SAG-AFTRA members and the industry overall.”

In what industry observers hope is a harbinger of things to come, the Directors Guild of America said over the weekend that it had reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year contract, one that includes wage hikes and a substantial (76 percent) increase in some international residuals.

SAG-AFTRA, which merged in 2012, struck the video game industry in 2016-17. In 1980, the two unions separately went on strike for 94 days in a dispute over residual revenues for pay TV and videocassettes.

Check out more of Edward’s articles.

Edward Moran
Edward Moranhttps://www.cinemadailyus.com
Edward Moran began his journalistic career many decades ago as a theater and cinema reviewer for Show Business and the New York Theater Review. More recently he contributed film reviews to hosokinema.com and Movie Sleuth. His writings have appeared in publications as diverse as the Times Literary Supplement, Publishers Weekly, the Paris Review, and the Massachusetts Review. Moran also edited a memoir by Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Christine Choy. He served as literary advisor to her film Hyam Plutzik: American Poet, which was the keynote film in the American Perspectives series at the 2007 Zebra Poetry Film Festival in Berlin.


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