Thursday, January 15, 2009

SAG Still Squabbling - No Strike Authorization Ballot Yet

Infighting can be the death of any family or any business. The same holds true for the Screen Actors Guild Union. Keep their head negotiator, or fire him, the membership is clearly at odds within their organization but their course of action. "A meeting of the full board of directors of the Screen Actors Guild, which lasted more than 30 hours on Monday and Tuesday, concluded without setting a mailing date for a strike authorization ballot and without the removal of controversial head negotiator Doug Allen." Nor is SAG is negotiation yet with AMPTP with whom they have not had a contract since last June. The only meetings are internal and even those ones can't find agreement.

The course of action is painfully obvious. Analyzing the current economic environment, reviewing the terms of the current signed agreements with other unions, and agree to structure an agreement that emulates their term AND expires at the same time as their agreements. The greatest revenue is still in the hands of traditional distribution and their is no missed opportunity to follow a wait and see strategy. New media is still a nascent business and a few years won't hurt you economically. Structure your new terms to expire concurrently with AFTRA or the Writers Union or both and utilize the leverage of this partnership in the next negotiation. But for now, stop threatening strike and sign a short term contract.