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Published:June 30th, 2008 14:19 EST
SAG Not Ready To Strike

SAG Not Ready To Strike

By Sean Stubblefield

June 29, 2008

Thank you, SAG members! Thousands of you have signed the "Solidarity Statement" over the past four days. In fact, we are working hard to keep up with the overwhelming response and adding your names as fast as we can.

You have pledged your resolve to stand with your national negotiating committee. Thousands of you from all around the country are telling us you voted NO on the AFTRA (The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) contract and support our goal to raise the bar for all actors and their families.

Unfortunately, there are a few press reports and blogs erroneously reporting misinformation based on false statements made by a few people who oppose our objectives to continue negotiating for a fair contract. Some have even implied that a strike is looming this week. Don`t let these scare tactics fool you.

President Alan Rosenberg issued the following statement today to set the record straight.

"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."

Negotiations are continuing today and our committee met into the evening last night. Your national negotiating committee, comprised of career actors who work regularly under SAG contracts, has volunteered countless hours working on your behalf. They are here in Sherman Oaks, forgoing time with their families and giving up work opportunities.

We will be here for as many hours as it takes to address the outstanding issues unique to actors that were NOT ADDRESSED in the pending AFTRA deal.

Here`s a partial list of our priorities:

Union coverage for ALL new media productions.

Residual payments for ALL new media programs (more info on this below).

Increases in minimums, pension & health contributions, mileage reimbursements and compensation for background actors, stunt performers, and other middle-income actors.

Address the growing practice of product integration within scripted programs.

Reasonable increase in DVD residuals.

Preserve Force Majeure protections.

Remember, this is not an attack on AFTRA. We are fighting to get the best contract for all actors. We are a democratic union and the majority of elected SAG leaders voted to inform and educate members about the AFTRA contract, and to urge you to VOTE NO. We hope SAG and AFTRA will bargain together on future contracts. 

Check regularly for negotiation updates.