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SAG-AFTRA Members Authorize a Strike

With a nearly 98 percent vote, Hollywood’s largest union has officially voted ‘OK’ on a strike if deemed necessary in the upcoming labor negotiations with studios and streamers.

Are you okay, Hollywood? Fresh on the heels of the ongoing WGA strike, 98 percent of the performers’ union SAG-AFTRA has voted to authorize a work stoppage, if necessary, in the upcoming labor negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers once TV/theatrical contracts expire on June 30.

Turnout for the union, which is the largest in Hollywood, amounted to nearly 48 percent, almost doubling 2020’s turnout of 27 percent. The extremely high “yes” vote mirrors that of the WGA during their negotiations with AMPTP, which did result in a strike on May 2.

SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher said in a statement, “The strike authorization votes have been tabulated and the membership joined their elected leadership and negotiating committee in favor of strength and solidarity. I’m proud of all of you who voted as well as those who were vocally supportive, even if unable to vote. Everyone played a part in this achievement. Together we lock elbows and in unity we build a new contract that honors our contributions in this remarkable industry, reflects the new digital and streaming business model and brings ALL our concerns for protections and benefits into the now! Bravo SAG-AFTRA, we are in it to win it.”

In their own statement, AMPTP added, “We are approaching these negotiations with the goal of achieving a new agreement that is beneficial to SAG-AFTRA members and the industry overall.”

SAG members have not gone on strike since 2000. Drescher acknowledges, “For the first time in a very long time, our member leadership stands in solidarity at the negotiating committee and the National Board levels.”

Hot topics to be addressed during the June negotiations are protections against generative A.I., an improvement on member residuals and minimum rates, a strengthened health and pension plan, and a new approach to self-taped auditions in the post-COVID-19 age.

Laurén Alexa's picture

Cybersecurity specialist by day, investigative journalist by night.