SAG-AFTRA Members Authorize Strike with Nearly 98% "Yes" Vote
The votes are in and nearly 98% of voting SAG-AFTRA members have authorized the union to strike if a deal with the AMPTP can't be reached.
Less than 48 hours after the Directors Guild of America (DGA) reached a tentative deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), SAG-AFTRA members have made it clear that they're ready to join the Writers Guild of America (WGA) on the picket lines if a new SAG-AFTRA TV/Theatrical Contracts aren't in place by midnight on June 30, 2023. And those members made it clear by 97.91% of them voting in favor of a strike authorization ahead of negotiations – which are set to begin on Wednesday, June 7th. The total number of votes as close to 65,000 members, accounting for 47.69% of eligible voters. Once again, the vote is to authorize the union's National Board to initiate a strike if a fair deal with the union can't be reached by the end of the month.
"The strike authorization votes have been tabulated, and the membership joined their elected leadership and negotiating committee in favor of strength and solidarity. I'm proud of all of you who voted, as well as those who were vocally supportive, even if unable to vote. Everyone played a part in this achievement," said SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher. "Together we lock elbows, and in unity, we build a new contract that honors our contributions in this remarkable industry, reflects the new digital and streaming business model, and brings ALL our concerns for protections and benefits into the now! Bravo, SAG-AFTRA, we are in it to win it."
SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director & Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland added, "I could not be more pleased with this response from the membership. This overwhelming yes vote is a clear statement that it's time for an evolution in this contract. As we enter what may be one of the most consequential negotiations in the union's history, inflation, dwindling residuals due to streaming, and generative AI all threaten actors' ability to earn a livelihood if our contracts are not adapted to reflect the new realities. This strike authorization means we enter our negotiations from a position of strength so that we can deliver the deal our members want and deserve."