AMPTP vs. SAG: It's finally over… hello…?

Deserve VictoryEchoing the same centrist-leaning principles that have confused fans of U.S. president Barack Obama, the SAG members overwhelmingly ratified a 2-year picture contract presented to them by the AMPTP by 78%.

The terms of the deal—which you can download in a handy .pdf format here—are the same exact terms that were offered to the WGA and the DGA last year, and the only concession that interim national executive director David White and chief negotiator John McGuire were able to get from the AMPTP was that the contract would end at the same time as the other two organizations, guaranteeing a slew of backchannel talks between the three sets of organizers for the next two years on how they’ll be handling the negotiations in 2011.

Variety has the basic rundown on all the events that lead to this ratification… or you could read these four pages of previous coverage here.

Given that the economy is in the toilet right now, I really do think that the Guild made the best decision it could, particularly due to Variety‘s claims that most of the new work was heading over to AFTRA, which had signed its own contract with the AMPTP. My biggest stumbling block in trying to understand why some SAG members were still pushing for a strike is because everyone’s economic situation changed in October, from Joe Average Actor to Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick who have lost an undisclosed amount of millions due to Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme being revealed by the collapse of the stock market.

Because of my day job, I was glued to economic news last fall, and the more I read about how the collapse happened, the more indignant I got towards the actors who wanted to stick to their guns and fight things out with the AMPTP—yes, even Martin Sheen whom I normally admire for his activist soul.

I really hope that in the future, they will have a stronger leg to stand on because I do think it’s wrong for the producers to claim two different things about the future of new media, as they did back in 2007 as the WGA went on strike. If you really do think it’s the new thing and the bee’s knees, then treat your workers like you mean it and you’ll get a quality product, I say.

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Posted on June 10, 2009 at 06:35 by Trisha Lynn · Permalink
In: News