Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Screen Actors Guild contract expires

The question everyone in Hollywood must be asking, will there be another strike in 2008. The last strike proved that the economics needed to be changed, but the result seemed to be less work for scripted TV series, and more reality programming. So now there is less work, more anger, and what appears to be a large contingent of underemployed talent itching to strike to make it hard on everyone else.

While no strike vote has been called, the real date to watch is next week when the AFTRA vote is due. Should that union approve their deal, it will be hard for SAG to strike; but should they succeed in convincing AFTRA members to vote against their leadership, a strike vote seems destined to come. Unfortunately in today's economy, a strike would have a devastating effect. "In its statement Monday, the producers alliance warned of the damage of another walkout, saying a work stoppage would cost SAG members $2.5 million in wages every day. Other labor groups in the industry would lose $13.5 million, while the California economy would take a daily $23 million hit, it said."

An agreement needs to be made soon. Without a contract, producers have begun to delay work, fearing a stoppage in the middle of production. SO even without a strike vote, business will be hurting. Despite the July 8 AFTRA vote, SAG needs to look for a solution and not an excuse to strike; it is in no ones best interest.