SAG-AFTRA prepare for strike action after contract expires without deal

In June 98% of members agreed to authorise a strike if an agreement isn't reached

By Priyanca Rajput 13 Jul 2023

SAG-AFTRA prepare for strike action after contract expires without deal

The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) are preparing for strike action following failed contract negotiations with Hollywood studios.

The major unions in Hollywood issued a joint statement on Wednesday pledging their "unwavering support and solidarity" of SAG-AFTRA, including the Writers Guild of America, who have been on strike for over two months with no progress. 

The move could see actors and writers take to picket lines for the first time since 1960.

"Hollywood must be a place where every worker, on-screen and off, is treated according to the value their skills and talents command," International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Teamsters, Hollywood Basic Crafts, the Directors Guild of America (DGA), the Writers Guild of America East and the Writers Guild of America West said in a statement.

The group added, "While the studios have collective worth of trillions of dollars, billions of viewers globally, and sky-high profits, this fight is not about actors against the studios, but rather about workers across all crafts and departments in the industry standing together to prevent mega-corporations from eroding the conditions we fought decades to achieve."

The current SAG-AFTRA contract expired at 11:59 p.m. PT Wednesday. The contract was intended to cease on June 30, but was extended after SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) reached an agreement.

On Tuesday, union leaders and the AMPTP decided to meet with federal mediators to negotiate a new deal before the current contract expires.

“We will not be distracted from negotiating in good faith to secure a fair and just deal by the expiration of our agreement," SAG-AFTRA said in a statement. "We are committed to the negotiating process and will explore and exhaust every possible opportunity to make a deal, however, we are not confident that the employers have any intention of bargaining toward an agreement."

SAG-AFTRA’s national board will vote on Thursday on whether to strike.

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