Monday, April 14, 2008

SAG invites AFTRA to the table

LA Biz Observed

It's hard to know where this will lead (if anywhere) but leaders of the Screen Actors Guild are reaching out to Hollywood's other union - the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists - to join them in their contract talks that get started tomorrow. SAG's offer, which was unexpected, comes after AFTRA angrily split off from SAG over a squabble about representation on one of the soap operas. Up to now, the two unions have negotiated jointly for the last 27 years. No word yet from AFTRA on SAG's invitation. A joint effort would certainly make life easier for all parties; AFTRA's separate contract talks are set to begin April 28, and if it comes to a quick deal and the SAG negotiations drag on, it'll create all kinds of problems about shared jurisdiction. You see, lots of actors belong to both unions. (Variety)


SAG rebuffs actors plan:

As expected, the board of the Screen Actors Guild deferred – some say gutted – a proposal to limit those who can vote in the upcoming contract negotiations to working actors. More than 1,400 SAG members, including some heavy hitters, called on the board to require that only actors who work at least one day a year be allowed to vote. But board members argued that it would disenfranchise most guild members. From the LAT:

The board referred the matter to a committee, which proponents widely interpreted as a rejection. "I don't think there is a will to address this issue seriously under the current leadership," said actor Ned Vaughn, one of the petition organizers. "We're disappointed, but that hardly means we will go away." In SAG, any member in good standing can vote on the film and TV contract. Actors qualify for membership if they have appeared in a principal or speaking role in a SAG film, video, television program or commercial. Also eligible are extras who have worked at least three days on a SAG-covered show in their lifetimes and people who qualify to join through a sister union.

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