1st\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix
By Leslie Simmons\Reuters
Hollywood's still holding its breath. The potential for a strike by the Screen Actors Guild or a possible lockout of the union's roughly 120,000 members by the studios will be greatly influenced by the results of rival union AFTRA's contract ratification vote. Ballots are due back Monday with the results expected to be announced Tuesday.
Since it announced its tentative deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers, the bargaining arm of the studios, AFTRA has been engaged in a battle with SAG, which is urging shared members to vote the contract down. SAG says the unions could get a better deal if they negotiated together.
Most industry watchers believe a majority of AFTRA members will vote to ratify the deal. In that case, SAG would be the only major guild left without a pact -- the directors and writers signed off on deals earlier this year, the latter coming after a 100-day strike -- and would see its negotiating leverage significantly reduced.
"If this passes, it will undermine the ability of the Screen Actors Guild to negotiate a decent contract. It will be a civil war," one dual cardholder member said.
Editor's Note: I plan to update this post after the vote results are announced.
The Screen Actors Guild is reiterating today [July 14, 2008] that it's still negotiating with Hollywood producers even though producers say they're sticking to their final offer.
The actors union had made a counter-proposal last week, after turning down the producers' offer.
Governor Schwarzenegger says it's important to California, to avoid any strike by actors.
"I think that our economy is very vulnerable right now," he said, "and I think that people are suffering. People have lost a lot of their jobs."
"A strike like that would be devastating."
The Governor says he would step in as a mediator if necessary, although he says he has not been asked. -- KNX