December 22, 2008

AMPTP hopeful 2009 will bring SAG deal

Hollywood's Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers says it hopes to reach a new agreement with the Screen Actors Guild in early 2009.

The last year has surely been a challenging one, but after long sessions of hard bargaining, all of the guilds and unions in our industry, except one, have reached new labor agreements, AMPTP said in a statement Monday.

These agreements contain meaningful economic increases and first-ever new media rights and residuals, the group added. We are proud to have made such important agreements even as the national economic crisis has worsened almost by the day. We sincerely hope that, before too much time passes in 2009, we will also reach a labor agreement with the Screen Actors Guild. For that reason, we are continuing to urge SAG members to study the producers' offer at, and make an independent decision as to whether it makes sense to strike over a deal that will raise wages, raise benefits, add new residuals and establish jurisdiction in new media for the first time.

SAG recently announced strike authorization ballots will be mailed to members Jan. 2 and the results tabulated Jan. 23. A yes vote by 75 percent of members voting is required to pass the measure, which would authorize SAG's national board of directors to call a strike, if and when the board determines it is necessary.

SAG and AMPTP have not been able to hammer out a new contract since their previous one expired June 30.