Preparing For Possible Strike, SAG-AFTRA Surveys Members About How They Can Help Out

SAG-AFTRA, saying that it’s “preparing for a potential TV/theatrical/streaming strike,” is asking members to take a survey about if and how they’d like to volunteer in the event a walkout is called. “By taking this survey, you’re not obligating yourself to help, but it will help us make informed decisions about our members and resources if we ever need to ask for your assistance,” the guild said in an email sent to members tonight.

A month ago, SAG-AFTRA members voted 98% in favor of authorizing a strike if contract talks fail to reach an acceptable deal. Prior to the authorization vote, the guild laid out some of its key bargaining issues, which include “economic fairness, residuals, regulating the use of artificial intelligence, and alleviating the burdens of the industry-wide shift to self-taping.”

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Last Friday, the guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers agreed to extend their current contract to allow contract negotiations to continue until July 12.

The extension comes against the backdrop of an unprecedented grassroots campaign by guild members to urge the guild to stand strong at the bargaining table and to “join the WGA on the picket lines” if a major “realignment in our industry” can’t be achieved. Last week, more than 1,700 actors, including many prominent SAG-AFTRA members, signed a letter to guild leaders saying they “would rather go on strike” and “join the WGA on the picket lines” than compromise on key issues.

On June 24, SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher, who also signed the “prepared to strike letter,” and national executive director and chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland posted a video in which they told members that the guild’s contract negotiations have been “extremely productive” and they “remain optimistic” that a fair deal can be reached.

Five days later, Drescher told Good Morning America that the contract talks were making headway “in some areas” and “in some areas we’re not.”

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