SAG Rejects Final Deal; AMPTP Says It’s Done, Makes New Threats

The Screen Actors Guild has declined the Aliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers’ deal (the one every other union has accepted), without sending it to members, and Variety reports that this is just leading to increased hostility and new threats.

“It is no secret that we are in a deteriorating economy,” Carol Lombardini, executive VP of AMPTP, said. “Our companies are not immune from the effects of this economic slowdown. It is very possible that, as a result of changing economic conditions, we will have to reevaluate the offer we have on the table.”

She also reminded the SAG that, if they do not ratify the pact by August 15, the increases will not be retroactive to July 1, costing the guild’s members $10 million.

“The risks are even greater in television,” Lombardini added. “Continued uncertainty over contract status further jeopardizes scripted programming.”

“We believe we presented you an extremely fair and lucrative package, particularly given the economic times we live in,” Lombardini said, noting that the increase in the Major Role performer rate in the first year of this contract is close to 6%.

“That would be an outsized increase in any contract cycle, but given today’s economy and the size of increases in general in other labor agreements, this is a large bump,” she added. ” Adding more money to this economic package would not only be unjustified, it would be irresponsible on our part. Therefore, the money is not going to change.”

A strike authorization vote has not yet been sent to the SAG’s members, and it is unlikely they will get the 75% vote needed to be able to push one through.

“We accepted pieces of their offer,” Doug Allen, SAG national director, said. “And we made several big moves in their direction. So to say we rejected is not fair.”

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