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Jul
2023
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SAG-AFTRA Members Begin Strike Preparations As July 12 Deadline Nears

Is a “double strike” imminent? Talks between SAG-AFTRA and the Association of Motion Picture Producers (AMPTP) continue this week, but actors have already commenced their picket planning preparations. Correspondence to union members and allies was distributed earlier today, calling for volunteers across the country.

Should negotiations end without a new deal at 11:59 p.m. PST on July 12th, it would lead to a double strike alongside the Writers Guild. SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP agreed last Friday to extend their current film and TV contract to next Wednesday the 12th to allow bargaining on a new deal to continue.

If SAG-AFTRA members, who voted 98% in favor of authorizing a strike if leadership fails to reach an acceptable deal, do agree to strike, they are expected to hit the streets bright and early on Thursday, July 13.

Where the Negotiations Stand Now

Simply put, SAG-AFTRA members are demanding better pay and increased safeguarding around AI rights, leaving Hollywood facing a second industry walkout amid the ongoing writers’ strikes.

SAG-AFTRA released an open letter last Friday to its members stating that negotiations have been ongoing for three weeks for a comprehensive and inclusive contract.

Regarding the deadline push to the 12th, the letter states, “No one should mistake this extension for weakness. We see you. We hear you. We are you.”

Support from A-listers throughout Hollywood has been peppering the headlines. Rolling Stone reported that big screen superstars such as Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence and Ben Stiller were among 300 members that urged the union to stand strong to ensure better compensation and addressed concerns about artificial intelligence in a letter.

“We want you to know that we would rather go on strike than compromise on these fundamental points, and we believe that, if we settle for a less than transformative deal, the future of our union and our craft will be undermined, and SAG-AFTRA will enter the next negotiation with drastically reduced leverage,” the letter states.

Click here for more details of this letter from Rolling Stone.

Bottom line: Negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP continue over the next week, but the July 12th deadline is fast approaching. Should both side fail to agree, a SAG-AFTRA strike will likely begin the morning of Thursday, July 13th.

Check back here at SCREEN for the latest news as SAG-AFTRA and WGA forge ahead with their respective negotiations. You can also click right here to subscribe to our weekly email newsletter.

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