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SAG negotiators ask for strike vote

October 1, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Another labor dispute is threatening to disrupt the entertainment industry. The negotiating committee for the Screen Actors Guild has voted to support a strike authorization vote.Negotiations between SAG and the studios and producers have been stalled for months. Actors have been working under the old contract since June. However, now it appears SAG is trying to break the impasse.

The Screen Actors Guild claims the studios and producers refuse to meet to advance the negotiations, so they feel they need to take this step.

In a statement Wednesday SAG said: "The National Negotiating Committee recommends that the National Board adopt a resolution strongly supporting ... and recommending that the membership vote in favor of a strike authorization."

SAG is concerned about new media jurisdiction. It wants some control over the product that goes out over the Internet. It's similar to what the Writers Guild asked for when its members went on strike. Writers walked for 100 days and the strike shut down production of dozens of TV shows. It also cost the Los Angeles area economy an estimated $2.5 billion.

A group of actors that control SAG's national board has taken a hard-line approach toward the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. However, SAG members recently voted some of those board members out. They elected board members who are critical of the way negotiations are being handled.

Meanwhile, the studios and producers are urging actors not to vote for a strike.

In a statement Wednesday studios and producers said: "It is unrealistic for SAG negotiators now to expect even better terms during this grim financial climate. This is the harsh economic reality and no strike will change that reality."

The recommendation now goes to the guild's national board for review, and would ultimately need approval of 75 percent of the120,000 voting guild members.

 

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