While all us IATSE types have been hanging around the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, this other union-management kerfluffle has been percolating:
Federal mediator Juan Carlos Gonzalez continued his slow-paced shuttle diplomacy Thursday, meeting for the second time with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers about resuming talks with SAG. The guild, which requested mediation a month ago, has also met twice with Gonzalez.
No date's been set yet for the resumption of SAG contract negotiations, which broke off July 16 after 42 sessions. Neither side had any comment Thursday ...
Word has circulated around -- and I have no idea how true it is -- that the Screen Actors Guild is not at all happy that the IATSE is negotiating a new contract with the producers.
The thing of it is, the IA has negotiated eight or nine months before contract expiration for a bunch of congtract cycles. Like the Directors Guild of America, the International believes it's in our collective interest to hammer out a new contract way in front of the expiration date. And who am I to say that belief is wrong? Recent results have been pretty good.
In any event, the actors don't get their next swing at the plate or bite at the apple (feel free to choose your own metaphor) until the IA and the Alliance of producers finish their scheduled Monday through Wednesday sit-downs. I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt SAG will end up striking, the times being what they are. The leadership, I think, have painted themselves into a dandy little corner, and they are now faced with a crappy economy and crappy odds in getting a strike vote.
But hey. We'll see where it goes, won't we?