SAG-AFTRA Members to Vote on Strike Authorization Ahead of Contract Negotiations

SAG-AFTRA’s national board unanimously recommended that its members authorize a strike as they prepare for negotiations on a new film and TV contract. The union, representing over 160,000 entertainment and media professionals, made the announcement on its website in anticipation of the upcoming TV/Theatrical Contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), scheduled to begin on June 7.

While an affirmative vote does not guarantee a strike, it grants the National Board the authority to call for one if deemed necessary during the negotiations. The decision follows a unanimous agreement by the TV/Theatrical negotiating committee, which believes that the strike authorization will provide the union with maximum bargaining leverage in the negotiations with the AMPTP.

The last time SAG-AFTRA went on strike in the film and TV industry was in 1980, with a 95-day walkout that established contract terms for pay TV and video cassettes. Since the merger of SAG and AFTRA in 2012, the union has not called for a strike. This unanimous vote by the board signifies a rare display of solidarity and unity among the members.

Fran Drescher, the President of SAG-AFTRA, emphasized that a strike should be seen as a last resort and not the first option. Drescher urged eligible members to support the negotiating committee and the National Board by voting in favor of the strike authorization. She acknowledged the significance of the decision and encouraged a show of solidarity with an emphatic ‘yes’ for the strike authorization vote.

Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the guild’s national executive director and chief negotiator, stressed the importance of the strike authorization in sending a strong message during the negotiations process. A ‘yes’ vote empowers the National Board to call for a strike if the AMPTP fails to negotiate fairly. Crabtree-Ireland acknowledged that the upcoming bargaining will shape the future of working performers and expressed the need to fight for a meaningful deal that benefits SAG-AFTRA members.

In its statement, the guild highlighted the challenges faced by professional performers, including inflation, the impact of the streaming ecosystem on compensation, rising corporate profits, executive pay disparities, and the unregulated use of artificial intelligence. The shifting landscape of the industry, such as the widespread adoption of self-taping, has made it increasingly difficult for actors to earn a living. SAG-AFTRA believes that transformative change is necessary for the sustainability of working actors.

Eligible members will receive postcards on May 18 with instructions on how to vote, and the voting period will conclude at 5 p.m. PT on June 5. The outcome of the vote will determine whether a strike will be called upon if negotiations do not result in a fair agreement between SAG-AFTRA and the studios and streaming companies.

Source: Deadline

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Start a Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: