Statement from Members of the New SAG Board Majority, Feb. 3 2009

Hollywood, CA – On Tuesday, February 3rd, the National President of the Screen Actors Guild Alan Rosenberg, together with National 1st Vice President Anne Marie Johnson and SAG Hollywood National Board Members Kent McCord and Diane Ladd attempted to file a temporary restraining order (TRO) against their own Guild in order to halt the resumption of negotiations with the AMPTP.  


The order was denied by a Los Angeles County judge due to technicalities in its filing, but the group plans to re-file on Thursday, February 5th.


The effect of the TRO has been to chill the AMPTP and SAG’s return to the table, led by its duly-hired interim national executive director, David White, and 40+ year SAG staffer, John McGuire who has successfully negotiated over 30 contracts for the Guild.  The return, after many months’ stalemate, was made possible by the hire of Mr. White and by the assignment of Mr. McGuire to the task of completing the TV/Theatrical negotiations.  Immediately upon hearing of the TRO, the AMPTP refused to re-enter the process.


As SAG national board members and as rank & file union members, we are stunned that any elected union official would take steps to halt contract negotiations of any kind. Such a brazen attack by nationally elected union leaders on the very foundation of collective bargaining — that of employers and workers meeting together to arrive at an agreement acceptable to both — is unprecedented in the history of the American Labor Movement.


Members from all three Divisions of the Guild have expressed their displeasure at today’s events.


"This action is just one more irresponsible mis-step by the Hollywood Membership First faction," said New York’s Sam Freed, SAG 2nd National Vice President. "They are so desperate to hold onto their power that they are willing to burn down their own house."


Former Hollywood National Board Director Tess Harper agrees: "These actions only hurt SAG.  What our members need is a contract….now."


SAG Chicago Branch President and National Board Director Todd Hissong concludes, "These individuals care more about winning fruitless political battles than advocating for the welfare of our members."


We wish to assure our members that the new majority of the SAG National Board and National Staff will continue in our efforts to resume these negotiations as soon as possible so that we may deliver an equitable contract for your approval.