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SAG-AFTRA Votes to Authorize Strike Over TV Animation

Union announces passage with 98 percent of the vote

SAG-AFTRA members voted to authorize a strike for voice actors in TV animation, according to a letter to members from union president Gabrielle Carteris posted Wednesday on the SAG-AFTRA website.

The key issue is negotiating pay scale wages and residuals for animated shows created for streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon, which the union noted have mushroomed in recent years. According to SAG-AFTRA, 22 new animated series have been produced for subscription-based streaming platforms in the last year, compared to 23 new series for basic cable.

The current contract covering animated shows on both cable and streaming platforms expired on June 30, 2017.

SAG-AFTRA members approved a strike authorization by a 98 percent margin, Carteris wrote, though the union did not specify how many members actually cast ballots.

The move to strike followed lengthy efforts to negotiate a new deal with producers. “The last offer that the producers made, which is now expired, contained a partial, inadequate improvement to these requirements at an unacceptable price,” Carteris wrote in a June 27 letter to members.

Producers are hopeful that a strike can be avoided. “The AMPTP and SAG-AFTRA have been engaged in meaningful discussions over a new Television Animation Agreement and a new Basic Cable Animation Agreement for several months,” a spokesperson for the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers said in a statement. “Those discussions have yielded progress, but there are still a few open items to resolve.”

Read Carteris’ full letter below.

July 18, 2018

Dear Member,

Thank you for your overwhelming support. We are pleased to report members voted 98.27 percent YES in favor of a TV Animation strike authorization. Voting closed July 18, and ballots were tabulated by Integrity Voting Systems.

It is important to note this referendum result does not mean members are on strike. Rather, it gives the National Board the authority to declare a strike if absolutely necessary. We will keep negotiating with producers for a contract that guarantees members scale wages and residuals for animated programs made for streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon.

This vote sends a message that we are united and puts our negotiators in the best position possible.

Our work doesn’t stop here. We must stay engaged. Please sign up for email updates about the animation negotiations and next steps our organizers are taking, and continue to share your support on social media with #ToonsUnited.

Together, we will ensure our members get the fair contract they deserve.

Strength in unity,

Gabrielle Carteris

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