SAG vs. SAG: To strike or not to strike?

lolcat-fightIt’s getting really ugly out there—and I’m not just talking about the weather.

Over 130 of the Screen Actors Guild’s members, including heavy-hitters like George Clooney, Alan Alda, and Helen Mirren, have come out against asking for a strike authorization of the 110,000 dues-paying members, citing the unstable economy as a reason to hold off on the vote via a letter that was sent to SAG’s leadership on Monday, reports Variety.

We feel very strongly that SAG members should not vote to authorize a strike at this time. We don’t think that an authorization can be looked at as merely a bargaining tool. It must be looked at as what it is—an agreement to strike if negotiations fail.

This came right before a disastrous townhall meeting for SAG president Alan Rosenberg who was in New York City speaking to several hundred members and representatives. Board member Paul Christie told Variety:

They already realize how hard they’ve been hit financially, and the idea that we’d be asking them to go out on strike, and the idea that they’d be asking the IATSE guys, the craft services people, AFTRA guys and everybody else to go on strike at this point, we think, is just insane. I haven’t run into one person here who’s in favor.

However, lining up on the “Yes” side of the strike authorization vote question are about 31 stars, including Hal Holbrook, Mel Gibson, Martin Sheen, and Holly Hunter. This divide parallels the conflict earlier this year between the old Membership First guard and the new Unite for Strength sub-group that won 18 of the 33 board seats in the guild’s elections this summer.

The SAG Watchdog has some very interesting articles talking about these latest developments, but I have to admit that reading them without any context at all is like reading a computer software manual in in Klingon.

*sigh* When will this be over?

Posted on December 17, 2008 at 07:27 by Trisha Lynn · Permalink
In: News