Actors' strike could start in January

TV Arts

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SAG could strike by end of January
Guild to send out ballots on Jan. 2

Hollywood could face an actors strike by the end of January if Screen
Actors Guild members vote to give their leaders strike authorization.

SAG announced Wednesday that it had set Jan. 2 as the date for sending
its strike authorization ballots out to its 120,000 members. Results
will be announced Jan 23 -- a full month before the Feb. 22 Academy

More than 75% of members voting will be needed for SAG to go on
strike. Final say over calling a strike will come from SAG's national
board of directors.

SAG president Alan Rosenberg said in the announcement that a yes vote
will force the congloms back to the table. The companies have insisted
that they won't change their final offer to SAG, which they made on
June 30 as SAG's contract expired.

A federal mediator brought negotiators together last month to try re-
launching bargaining but talks between SAG and the Alliance of Motion
Picture & Television Producers cratered on Nov. 22 with wide gaps
remaining between the two sides.

”SAG members understand that their futures as professional actors are
at stake and I believe that SAG members will evaluate the AMPTP’s June
30 offer, and vote to send us back to the table with the threat of a
strike," Rosenberg said. "A yes vote sends a strong message that we
are serious about fending off rollbacks and getting what is fair for
actors in new media. I am encouraged by the response of the capacity
crowd at our Los Angeles town hall meeting Monday night."

In response, the AMPTP issued a statement blaming SAG leaders for
bungling the contract talks -- which featured 46 sessions between
April and November -- and asking SAG members to read the final offer.

"It's now official: SAG members are going to be asked to bail out a
failed negotiating strategy by going on strike during one of the worst
economic crises

in history," the AMPTP said. "We hope that working actors will study
our contract offer carefully and come to the conclusion that no strike
can solve the problems that have been created by SAG's own failed
negotiation strategy.

Rosenberg had said two weeks ago that SAG would send the ballots out
by the end of December but that provoked criticism by the companies
that the guild was trying to hold down turnout to increase the chances
of a "yes" vote.

Allen said pushing back the vote will give the guild more time to
conduct its "education campaign."

“We want SAG members to have time to focus on this critical
referendum, so we have decided to mail ballots the day after New
Year's," Allen said Wednesday. "We will continue our comprehensive
education campaign and urge our members to vote yes on the strike
authorization. I am confident that members around the country will
empower our negotiating team with the leverage and strength of unified
Screen Actors Guild members. Our objective remains to get a deal that
SAG members will ratify- not to go on strike."

Ballots will be tabulated at Integrity Voting Systems in Everett,

SAG held its first town hall meeting on Monday at the Harmony Gold in
Hollywood with 400 members attending. It's scheduled two more such
gatherings, one in New York on Monday and another next Wednesday at
the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel.

Rosenberg has tried reassure the biz that leaders view a strike as a
last resort amid the nation's financial crisis.

"We are sensitive to today's uncertain economy, far more so than the
CEOs who rake in multimillion dollar paydays," Rosenberg said in a
video message posted Tuesday on the guild's website. "We intend to
avoid a strike at all costs."

Most of those attending Monday's event at the Harmony Gold offered
unqualified support, including a standing ovation, for SAG's leaders
AFTRA's not striking this time, right?

If SAG strikes, the production companies should just slide every
daytime soap opera actor they can find, and use them to cast all
scripted primetime TV shows.

That would fix SAG's little red wagon!!

Ian  (I can't see B&B's Ron Moss as The Mentalist. But, I could see
him... as... HORATIO!!!!11!1!11!!)
In article 


It's better than that; all they have to do to get around SAG is shoot 
electronically instead of on film.  This will mean the end of film, but 
SAG needs to go.
You're assuming that AFTRA won't support SAG, I suppose. 

Sounds like the right assumption from what I've read about past
negotiations. AFTRA is always quick to give in.
I think that signs point to AFTRA not supporting SAG in a strike call.
"Pat and Kenny read CSI: Miami scripts"

It'd get me to watch CBS.