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SAG contract expires 6/30/08----Are we in for another strike? [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum
 
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View Full Version : SAG contract expires 6/30/08----Are we in for another strike?


DJariya
06-29-08, 01:27 PM
LOS ANGELES - Hollywood loves a good sequel, but here's one it could do without: Another union strike just months after the town got up and running again from a devastating walkout by writers.

The contract between the Screen Actors Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers expires Monday, and negotiations have dragged on for weeks with no apparent headway.

SAG leaders have said they are willing to continue talking beyond the contract deadline. Yet their hard-line rhetoric and a squabble with another actors union could put performers on the sidelines, taking electricians, set-builders, caterers and other Hollywood working stiffs along with them.

"If you're a below-the-line worker, your blood is probably running cold, because they're the ones that took the biggest hit from the writers strike," said Jack Kyser, chief economist for the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp., which estimates the WGA walkout cost the town $2.5 billion in lost wages and other revenue.

A strike in July — or a potential actors lockout if producers decided to play tough — could delay the return of many fall TV shows, which normally would be going back into production then.

With a longer lead time, big-screen movies generally are in good shape through the early part of summer 2009, with studios rushing to finish production on most films before the actors' contract expired.

A few films such as "The Hannah Montana Movie" and Tom Hanks' "Angels & Demons" could be forced to shut down if a strike occurred. A long walkout could postpone movies scheduled to start shooting late this summer and fall, including Russell Crowe's "Nottingham."

"The possibility of another strike, especially in this economy, has the town on edge, including the thousands of guild and crew members who are still recovering from the last strike," said Jesse Hiestand, spokesman for the producers alliance.

Big action films could ride out a short strike by turning to other work while actors were off. Lorenzo di Bonaventura, producer of next summer's sequel "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," said the filmmakers factored in a hiatus where they can get by without actors, working on visual effects instead.

But it would be another blow to an industry that remains in a stall after the writers strike.

"It's not been a complete shutdown, but everybody's been working at pretty minimal capacity the last nine months," di Bonaventura said. "The pain everybody felt over the last nine months certainly makes the prospect of another strike even more foreboding."

While the Writers Guild of America went on strike in general solidarity among members, SAG is a house divided. Its 120,000 members include 44,000 who also belong to the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and leaders of the two unions are at each other's throats.

AFTRA, with 70,000 total members, negotiated a contract similar to ones writers and directors accepted this year. SAG is holding out for a better deal that many in Hollywood say it cannot realistically achieve in a business stung first by losses from the 100-day writers strike and now by studio stinginess amid the weak economy.

"Militancy has its moments," said James Cromwell, a former SAG board member who is among members of both unions urging AFTRA to approve the deal.

"Under the circumstances, with this town having just gone through a writers strike, militancy is useless," Cromwell said by phone from Shreveport, La., where he is co-starring as George H.W. Bush in Oliver Stone's "W."

While the unions traditionally have negotiated side by side, they split this time, and SAG leaders are actively campaigning to defeat AFTRA's contract, whose results are due July 8.

SAG is pushing for more money on DVD residuals, a raise producers have refused to give other Hollywood unions. Leaders of SAG also say the AFTRA contract shortchanges actors on potential revenue from Internet programming.

"When unions compete with different contract terms, actors lose. It starts a race to the bottom that SAG doesn't want to win," SAG chief negotiator Doug Allen said in a June 23 message asking actors who belong to both unions to vote against AFTRA's deal.

Along with Cromwell, actors such as Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin, Kevin Spacey and Morgan Fairchild are among hundreds who have signed an agreement encouraging AFTRA members to approve the deal.

SAG, which accounts for about 90 percent of TV production and all of the film industry, insists it can strike a better bargain. But if the AFTRA deal goes through by a wide margin, it could undermine SAG's leaders, who might not be able to drum up the votes should they decide to ask members to authorize a strike.

"The worst thing you can do is to try to get it and fail," AFTRA President Roberta Reardon said. "It's hard to imagine a performer voting yes for one contract then voting to put himself out on the street for the other one."

Alexandra Leighton, a 28-year-old actress who appears in two episodes of the new CBS drama "Swingtown," said she is voting for the AFTRA deal and would oppose a SAG strike.

Leighton backs SAG's demand for tougher consent rules over use of an actor's image in online clips, but she said it was not worth losing her job — her first acting gig outside of commercials.

"Too many people would be put out of work," Leighton said. "It's just not worth it. The economy is already iffy, and it would just crush the local economy."

It also could ruin some TV series. Audiences did without new episodes on many shows for months while writers were on strike. If actors walk and new episodes vanish again, fans could lose interest for good.

When writers returned in February, the feeling in Hollywood was that cooler heads among actors and producers would avert another strike. Optimism gradually eroded as the two actors unions began beating up on each other.

While SAG has struck deals to allow work to continue with many independent producers, studio production that accounts for most of Hollywood employment has been hurled into limbo.

macnorton
06-29-08, 01:46 PM
If another strike happens, there is a good chance network TV will take the biggest hit. Cable series behave differently. When the Sopranos would take long breaks, people were pissed, but they still came back. I think there is a different expectations for cable series. You pay for the quality and it can be worth the wait. Take The Shield, I am so hyped for this...and I know it will be worth the time.

Panda Phil
06-29-08, 02:01 PM
http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-7/276900/notthisshit2.jpg

Gizmo
06-29-08, 02:19 PM
Atleast this will give Deadlinehollywood.com something to do.

DJariya
06-29-08, 07:21 PM
Network TV has alot to lose. Ratings were way down on all the spring return episodes after the WGA strike. I believe there are several shows that already started production on next season's episodes like House, Heroes and Dirty Sexy Money etc. Most shows don't resume production until July...I think another long shutdown would kill network TV.

I am pretty sure that the majority of SAG members don't want another strike. I hope Alan Rosenberg (SAG's President) gets the stick out of his ass and starts getting something done than threaten or contemplate a strike.

Gizmo
06-29-08, 07:32 PM
Deadlinehollywood.com seems pretty sure of itself that a strike will NOT happen...hoping this is true.

Jason
06-29-08, 08:27 PM
I think the networks are posturing already. Why do you think game shows are making a resurgence? They're sending a message to SAG.

mhg83
06-29-08, 09:20 PM
I think the networks are posturing already. Why do you think game shows are making a resurgence? They're sending a message to SAG.


But even gameshows might be affected too. Some of the hosts are actors as well. Howie Mandell, and Drew Carrey come to mind.

DJariya
06-29-08, 10:05 PM
But even gameshows might be affected too. Some of the hosts are actors as well. Howie Mandell, and Drew Carrey come to mind.

Alot of Reality hosts are also actors. This would pretty much affect all genres of programming.

Gizmo
06-29-08, 11:46 PM
Los Angeles, June 29, 2008 – Screen Actors Guild released the following statement from SAG National President Alan Rosenberg: “We have taken no steps to initiate a strike authorization vote by the members of Screen Actors Guild. Any talk about a strike or a management lockout at this point is simply a distraction. The Screen Actors Guild national negotiating committee is coming to the bargaining table every day in good faith to negotiate a fair contract for actors.”

I think were safe.

shanester
06-30-08, 06:02 AM
http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-7/276900/notthisshit2.jpg


rotfl

rfduncan
07-01-08, 10:39 AM
Screen Actors Guild Continues to Negotiate
Members Continue to Work Past Contract Expiration

Los Angeles, June 30, 2008 – The Screen Actors Guild national negotiating committee has bargained with the AMPTP for the last 42 days and remains committed to negotiating a fair deal for actors as soon as possible.

The AMPTP today delivered a last-minute, 43-page offer that upon initial examination appears to be generally consistent with the AFTRA deal, particularly in its provisions relating to new media. The union is reviewing the complex package and will prepare a response to management once that analysis is complete.

The parties are scheduled to meet Wednesday, July 2, at 2:00 p.m.

“This offer does not appear to address some key issues important to actors. For example, the impact of foregoing residuals for all made-for-new-media productions is incalculable and would mean the beginning of the end of residuals,” said Screen Actors Guild National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator Doug Allen.

The Screen Actors Guild Codified Basic and Television Agreements covering television programs and motion pictures expire tonight at midnight. Work will continue and all SAG members should report to work and to audition for new work past the expiration date until further notice from the Guild.

Other Screen Actors Guild agreements, including the Commercials Contract, Basic Cable Live Action Agreement, Basic Cable Animation Agreement, Television Animation Agreement, Interactive Media Agreement, Internet Agreement, and Industrial Educational Contract are unaffected by the status of these negotiations, and members should continue to audition and work under them as usual.
-ohbfrank-

Talk about geese and golden eggs...

kenbuzz
07-01-08, 11:18 AM
I don't like the poll wording. Choosing either option seems to endorse the opinion that actors underpaid.

DJariya
07-01-08, 12:05 PM
I don't like the poll wording. Choosing either option seems to endorse the opinion that actors underpaid.

No I don't think the wording implies that actors are underpaid. If you read the 1st story I posted, there is a little blurb about a young commercial actor who got her 1st big break on Swingtown. She says that she would vote No on a strike because of the economy and the fact that she doesn't want to lose her job on the show right now. Not every actor earns the salary of a Kiefer Sutherland, William Petersen or Teri Hatcher and can afford to not work for months or even years. That's all I was saying with the second option.

RoboDad
07-01-08, 04:35 PM
That explains the second option, but the first also implies that what they have been offered is less than a "fair deal", which doesn't seem to be the case to me at all. Is it that politically incorrect to acknowledge that actors (and unions) are as susceptible to greed as anyone else in this world?

fujishig
07-01-08, 04:56 PM
Aren't all game show hosts considered actors? I thought I read somewhere that if you have any kind of speaking role at all in even a commercial, you had to be a member of SAG.

edit: It also seems like a lot of "reality show contestants" are also wannabe actors as well.

DJariya
07-01-08, 05:57 PM
That explains the second option, but the first also implies that what they have been offered is less than a "fair deal", which doesn't seem to be the case to me at all. Is it that politically incorrect to acknowledge that actors (and unions) are as susceptible to greed as anyone else in this world?

Maybe I should have put "Fair Deal" in quotes. I was only using a term that they have been using. I guess I was intending to be impartial, but it may have not sounded like such.

Jason
07-01-08, 08:04 PM
But even gameshows might be affected too. Some of the hosts are actors as well. Howie Mandell, and Drew Carrey come to mind.

I guess it would all depend on how they are contracted, or by what division. While they are technically actors, they're not "acting" when hosting a game show.

A fine hair to split, to be sure, but contracts are usually woven out of very fine hairs.

PopcornTreeCt
07-01-08, 08:08 PM
I think this affects movies more than TV at least within the immediate future.

DJariya
07-01-08, 08:10 PM
I think this affects movies more than TV at least within the immediate future.

It affects TV immediately. All the new and returning shows go back into production this month. Some shows have already started shooting. Movies are shot 1-2 years in advance before they hit theatres so they aren't really affected at all.

Goat3001
07-01-08, 09:17 PM
After the WGA strike I'm pretty sure both sides will do all they can NOT to strike.