Monday, February 23, 2009

SAG and AMPTP Still Can't Agree On A Deal

An agreement that should have been approved still seems bitter and antagonistic. It seems that SAG would have agreed to the terms presented had the AMPTP left the terms at three years. But a four year deal caused the SAG deal to vote 73% - 27% against approval. Clearly, a four year term puts the SAG union a year after the term expires on the other union contracts. To AMPTP credit, they are trying to avoid giving the unions the leverage of having all their terms expire simultaneously in order to present a more unified block the next go around. Could this deal be concluded with a three year term; unfortunately, "no new meetings are scheduled. It would take 75% assent from voting SAG members to authorize a strike vote."

The unmistakable truth is that advertising revenues are declining and new media has not created a model that presents that much incremental revenue. With so much uncertainty ahead, a shorter term deal makes sense for SAG. AMPTP clearly does not want all its deals expiring in the same year. It is time for all actors to unite under one union as a means to the end. SAG and AFTRA are jointly negotiating with the advertising industry; a taste of what a combined union might be like.

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