SAG to Hold Strike Authorization Vote

Nov 26, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Screen Actors Guild President Alan Rosenberg said SAG will conduct a strike authorization vote in December, inching the union closer to the brink of a strike.
Mr. Rosenberg made the announcement via e-mail and video message Wednesday.
“Now, per the resolution passed by 97% of our newly constituted national board of directors in October, we are launching a member education campaign and we will send out a strike referendum ballot to SAG members in December,” Mr. Rosenberg said in his announcement. “We ask that you support your board and negotiating committee, and vote ‘yes’ to authorize the board to call a strike only if it becomes absolutely necessary.”
SAG has already begun its educational campaign via its Web site with topics related to the strike authorization vote.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers responded with a brief statement.
“SAG’s latest mass e-mail fails on three counts: It fails to explain why SAG deserves more than everyone else in the industry, the AMPTP said in the statement. “It fails to justify why SAG members should bail out a failed negotiating strategy by striking during a time of historic economic crisis. And it fails to explain why it makes sense to strike when SAG members will lose more during the first few days of the strike than they could ever expect to gain.”
Mr. Rosenberg blasted those citing the ailing economy as a reason not to strike.
“It’s also curious that these global corporations are preaching to us about the bad economy,” he said. “Like it’s our fault. As middle-income actors we are the victims of corporate greed. We didn’t cause this turmoil.”


  1. Dear SAG:
    You do what you want. But don’t freakin’ fly your asses to Washington for a federal bail-out when your damn industry tanks.
    Love and kisses,

  2. At a time when the nightly news has convinced many Americans they are about to lose their jobs, they’ll never be able to retire and that banks are one withdrawal from closing, does SAG honestly think telling their members to strike isn’t going to be a PR disaster?
    I know many actors barely make a living, but I can’t wait to see the reactions after people see pictures in People and Us of actors who are making seven or eight figures for their last film alone walking the picket line demanding more money.

  3. Joy, you are 100% right. I think that they don’t really expect to strike, but that by playing chicken with AMPTP they can force greater concessions from them-which is what would probably happen if a striek were authorized.
    My guess is that it won’t be authorized and they will have to keep working without a contract.

  4. The AMPTP is feeling their oats after their success against the WGA, and rightfully so. As long as they have reality shows and game shows, they are very well-positioned against those who work on scripted shows. In the end, it all comes down to simple numbers: Scripted shows are, at best, performing only as well as reality/game shows. At worst, they’re not performing as well. Think of the big show of today that EVERYONE talks about when they are on: Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, Survivor, The Hills, So You Think You Can Dance, Amazing Race, etc. Desperate Housewives, Ugly Betty, Grey’s Anatomy, and CSI might make it in there, only occasionally. As long as scripted shows have consistently lack-luster numbers in terms of viewership, those who work on those shows are in are not in a very good position to bargain. The answer for Hollywood is simple: CREATE BETTER SHOWS THAT PEOPLE ACTUALLY WANT TO WATCH, AND YOU WILL BE IN A BETTER POSITION TO GET WHAT YOU WANT!!! It’s not rocket-science.

  5. “Reality” Programs are cheaper to produce and do seem to be cost effective programing when compared to Scripted Dramas, but they usually are not as good a product in terms of other revenue sources. DVD sales, syndication, foreign territory sales. etc.
    “Reality” programs are not and will not replace dramas or comedies , which means you will still need those pesky Actors, directors, writers and crew, who for some reason want to be paid a share of the profits.
    And from what i see here, I guess bail outs should only go to rich Wall Street stock brokers and insurance firms that over extended due to greed and graft.
    Movies are perhaps the last product that the USA does better than the rest of the world, can’t be too much longer before greed destroys that too.

  6. I feel that you must do what is in the collective best interests for the members. If a strike is what it takes to get fair agreements then it is a valid option. However, an extension would be called for with the presence of fruitful discussions on both sides of the table. It is unwise to strike out of spite and determination to do so without thought to consequence. It costs so many their livelihoods when the WGA went on strike and many did not recover. It would be extremely wise to take it easy on the members and give more time for talks. Don’t fall into the trap of claiming weapons of mass destruction on the other side and strike in a fervor of vindictiveness or display of pride. It is much better to spend more time at the negotiating table and save everyone some grief.
    It seems that we as adults are so inflexible while if the guilds and countries were run by children we would have our disagreements and be friends by noon the next day and it would all work out without hard feelings or monetary bloodshed. Be kind to your membership by letting them work while you work out the agreements with the bean counters and the legal dogs of war. Be smart. Let them work and keep at the negotiations. You will be a hero in the end for all around wisdom. For God’s sake, be smart and flexible. There has to be room for all of us in the sandbox without taking our toys and stomping off towards home. Get a grip!

  7. You ought to look at the following short video produced in Cologne, Germany by TV Star Andreas Stenschke. It points to what is at stake for writers, actors and directors regarding the potential loss of income when reruns of TV shows and movies go to the Internet rather than on cable and broadcast TV, where they currently show. It is particularly relevant as the Writers Guild is now in a battle with the AMPTP over their reneging of the Internet residual formula agreed to at the end of the strike in February. Link to the video is:
    The Europeans’ (and other international artists) situation is absurd and the AMPTP producers and networks would like nothing more than to remake that as their modus operandi on our shores as well.

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