SAG Draws Lines Ahead of Strike Vote

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As the board of the Screen Actors Guild prepares to authorize a strike vote from its members, the leadership is reminding members not to work for any producer which is not a signatory to an appropriate union contract.

Beginning Jan. 1, the union will “vigorously enforce” that union rule for new media productions of any size. The rule, under which the union asserts authority over all new media productions, was passed by union leadership in April. The extent of the union’s oversight on Internet productions has been a sticking point in negotiations, with producers willing to only honor union terms in larger budget Internet efforts.

“Being covered by a SAG contract right from the start is a good thing because in new media, you never know where you’ll find an audience or how successful a project may become,” reads an online message to members.

SAG has been without a contract since June 30, and the last talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which were lead by a federal mediator, broke down Nov. 22. SAG leadership will ask its 120,000 members to authorize a strike against producers. To strike, the union action would have to be approved by 75% of those who vote.

The union told members when the talks broke down that it would launch an education effort on the value of its contract proposals.

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