AMPTP Makes Final Offer to SAG

Although its contract will expire at 12:01 a.m. July 1, no strike authorization has been given by membership, nor has one been sought by SAG leadership. It is expected that SAG will continue to negotiate a new contract and members will continue to work under the old agreement.

A-list actors including Jack Nicholson, Ben Stiller and Sandra Oh have weighed in on the SAG/AMPTP negotiations. What effect will these statements have on the talks?

Hollywood’s big names have come down on both sides of the issue. Some, like George Clooney, have come down in the middle. These statements will likely have some effect, but the impact is difficult to measure.

What is at the heart of the dispute?

SAG is seeking, among other items, residuals for members’ work seen online, increased residual payments for DVDs and increases in pension and health contributions from studios.

What happens July 8?

Results from a deal, worked out between AFTRA leadership and AMPTP, and put to a vote of the general membership, are expected. SAG is urging its members — about 44,000 belong to both SAG and AFTRA — to vote down the proposal.

Why has no contract materialized?

SAG says that AMPTP’s offer is considerably worse than what AFTRA’s leadership has negotiated with the studios. AMPTP, on the other hand, says SAG is refusing to negotiation in earnest until after July 8, when the results of its vote will be known.

Has the stalemate caused any financial impact?

Studios and production houses are postponing starting work until a deal is reached, causing a work stoppage. The pinch also is being felt across the border in Canada, where studio operators say the SAG contract talks are putting a damper on production.