Sunday, November 23, 2008

Here We Go Again?

This will (hopefully) come to naught. But it still causes me to fill my pants:

In a move that ups the ante in the stalemate between actors and the studios over a new labor contract, the Screen Actors Guild has decided to pursue a strike authorization vote from its 120,000 members.

The decision came early Saturday morning after two days of mediation failed to bridge deep differences between the sides over how actors should be paid for work that is distributed over the Internet. Actors have been working without a contract since June 30.

Although a last-minute breakthrough is still possible, the actors and the studios now look to be inching closer to a costly showdown that would have seemed remote only a month ago.


The economy is in free fall, every other Hollywood labor organization has signed new three-year deals, and the actors get ready to pull the trigger.

I'll give it you as gently as I can.

If the actors go out, everybody else who works in the motion picture industry is screwed. Live action will shut down. Unemployment will skyrocket. And the various movie industry health and pension plans, which have been eating it already because of the drubbing their invested assets have taken, will very quckly be in desperate, desperate trouble because their cash flows will stop.

Animation employees wouldn't be slammed immediately, because they could continue working with the voice tracks that are in the can, but it could impact health coverage, and impact it in major ways.

And if a strike were to last three, four, five months? Don't even think about it, because you'll end up throwing yourself off a high cliff.

Have a happy Thanksgiving.


Anonymous said...

No way will they get 75% of the union to agree to a strike with the economy in freefall.

They can save their petty complaints for the next contract.

Anonymous said...

'No way will they get 75% of the union to agree to a strike with the economy in freefall."

ARE you KIDDING ME? These are ACTORS we're talking about--not exactly the brightest bulbs in the fixture. Most of them choose their scripts by openining their mailboxes, and all of them know that even if only .001% of them actually put butts in the theater, if they stick together they'll shut down the industry.

Floyd Norman said...

While I understand their beef with the studios, strike authorization would be insane.

Actors may consider themselves special, but they might as well accept getting screwed like the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

I would think it would be easy to get 75% of the union membership to approve a strike since the vast majority of them don't work regularly as actors and don't have much to lose from a strike anyway.

120,000 members? 90% of that is people who have one credit as third man on the left in "My Mother the Car" on their resume.

Anonymous said...

No way will they get 75%. That 90% you claim have nothing to lose froma strike have nothing to gain from a strike. What they WILL lose is any chance at all of getting work as long as the leadership (like Rosenberg) feel it's serves their lofty moral postion to stay on strike. Rosenberg is in the best of all positions. Hardly works as an actor and is essentially supported by his wife who will continue to pull in nice juicy residuals while he continues his noble cause.

Only a fool would strike now and take a chance of losing what little medical benefits they have and the chance of scoring that breakout role....

Anonymous said...

Oh man, no matter what happens, I'm worried. :( I don't want SAG to get boned, but with the economy and the industry in the shape it's in? What are the AMPTP trying to pull?

Anonymous said...

SAG's claim that the IATSE announcement was purposely timed to undercut their negotiating is enormously dishonest and unfair. How long have they had their turn at bat now? Please! IATSE and AFTRA continue to be scapegoats for every f'ing idiot move SAG makes. And they do it because they can. This brotherly pattern bargaining is a f'ing joke! Did they not just watch the UAW stand side-by-side with the Big Three begging for spare change?!?!?

What is perfect timing is WGA's filing against the AMPTP for failing to honor New Media residual payouts. WGA is priming their membership to support yet ANOTHER shutdown of this town. They scratch each others backs at the expense of the majority of working people in this town. I can't wait to see which high profile A-listers walk the line during this crap economy. You think Tom Hanks is going to take egg in his face from working Hollywood for Rosenberg's blunders?

Anonymous said...

Most of the 'big' stars, like Hnaks, are against this bonehead mov of Rosenberg.
Right now they're telling members that this isn't a vote 'to strike' just a vote to 'authorize a strike' to scare the AMPTP. Just like the Bush had a vote to 'authorze a war' and not to start a war.
Once they vote to authorize the strike it won't be long before Rosenberg declares a strike at the expense of almost everyone below the line in this town.

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