SAG-AFTRA, Producers Extend Contract Talks After Failing to Reach New Deal

Hollywood’s largest performers union is negotiating a new three-year contract with producers

SAG-AFTRA and Hollywood producers have agreed to extend their contract talks on a day-to-day basis in the hopes of reaching a new deal, both sides announced late Friday.

“In a joint statement, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) announce that the parties will continue to bargain, and the contract has been extended on a day-to-day basis,” they said.

Weeks of long negotiating sessions between Hollywood’s largest performers union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have not resulted in a deal, as the two sides remain apart on issues including compensation for short seasons and travel allowances. The guild had said it would seek a strike authorization from its members if a deal was not reached by 12:01 a.m. PT Saturday. Both sides have been negotiating under a media blackout.

On Sunday, the guild’s national board of directors unanimously voted for a strike authorization referendum if a deal could not be reached by Friday. Later that day, SAG-AFTRA President and Chair of the TV/Theatrical Negotiating Committee Gabrielle Carteris and National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator David White blasted producers for “outrageous rollbacks” and said the guild would prepare to strike rather than succumb to “management’s onerous demands.”

“We have presented reasonable proposals to address the critical concerns facing our members and that are integral to making a living in this industry,” they wrote. ” The AMPTP has responded with outrageous rollbacks that cut to the core of our basic terms and conditions. Despite our efforts, the AMPTP has failed to make sufficient progress on our most critical issues. The status quo is simply unacceptable and our members, standing together, will not give in to management’s onerous demands nor back down on our critical proposals.”

SAG-AFTRA held an informational meeting Wednesday in Studio City, which was attended by hundreds of members. The guild also has meetings planned in New York on July 6, the Washington, D.C./Mid-Atlantic area July 7, Atlanta July 8 and Chicago July 9 as it prepares for a strike authorization vote. Per the guild’s rules, 75 percent of members need to approve the measure in order to strike.

Hollywood narrowly averted another strike earlier this year, as talks between the Writers Guild of America and AMPTP came down to the wire — and a little past it — reaching a deal in the wee hours of May 2 after the writers’ contract expired May 1.

Actors haven’t gone on strike since 1980; however, the last time SAG-AFTRA negotiated with producers and studios, the talks required three separate 24-hour extensions until a deal was done. In addition, SAG-AFTRA has also been on strike against 11 video game companies since October, representing voice actors.