SAG-AFTRA Chief as Strike Hits Day 40: ‘The CEOs Need to Be Involved’



As SAG-AFTRA clocked its 40th day on strike, the union’s chief negotiator has called for leaders of Hollywood’s major studios and streamers to step in to bring the sides to a new deal and get the industry back to work.

Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA’s national executive secretary and its chief negotiator, said the union has had outreach from industry insiders who aim to help with basic communication between SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

“There is some back-channeling going on but nothing formally from the AMPTP,” Crabtree-Ireland told Variety on Tuesday after the SAG-AFTRA held a Day of Solidarity rally next to the Disney lot in Burbank. The gathering drew several thousand participants to Keystone Street in Burbank, including local labor leaders and members of laborers union LIUNA, the Writers Guild of America, the Directors Guild of America and stars of “The West Wing.”

Crabtree-Ireland said the outreach that will make the biggest difference hasn’t happened yet.

“There are conversations that happen primarily with the goal of getting us back to the table. Because I firmly believe that the CEOs need to be involved in order to get these deals across the finish line, and to really bring a sense of change that’s necessary to make these contracts fair for our members,” he said.

SAG-AFTRA is willing to meet with studio bargaining representatives any time, although Crabtree-Ireland acknowledged that the AMPTP is focused at present on the revived talks with the WGA, which has been on strike since May 2. Crabtree-Ireland also reiterated that SAG-AFTRA is willing to compromise on some of the proposals that were on the table when talks broke down on July 12.

“One of the issues that they are most hung up on is this idea of sharing revenue from streaming. And one of the things that Fran [Drescher] and I said to the CEOs when we talked on July 12 was that this was our starting proposal on the first day of negotiations,” Crabtree said. “We had fully expected to have a back and forth with them, and then they just refused to engage on it. And nothing happened for 35 days. We don’t expect that that proposal stays in that exact form to the conclusion of this deal. The principle of sharing revenue from streaming is what’s most important, and the exact mechanics of how that happens, we’re very much open to negotiating. So I hope that message has been delivered, and I hope it resonates with them.”

During the downtime, SAG-AFTRA’s contract negotiating team has had conversations with their WGA counterparts. The unions are aligned on numerous issues, as evidenced by the WGA’s recent request for the union to be involved in regulating the use of artificial intelligence.

“With the Writers Guild, we’ve been talking a lot, both before, during, and before and during our negotiations, and during the strike,” he said. “Philosophically, we’re very much on the same page on AI, and some residuals issues, and we certainly support them on their staffing issues.”

More to come


Source link

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.