Nov 23, 2020
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Front Page, Industry News

Big names move to stop strike authorization

A group of more than 130 well-known actors, including Oscar winners George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Kevin Spacey, Sally Field, Helen Hunt, Charlize Theron and Morgan Freeman, have sent a petition to SAG national president Alan Rosenberg, national executive director Doug Allen and other guild leaders, asking them to cancel the strike-authorization vote.

SAG’s negotiations with Hollywood producers for a new TV and film contract have been stalled for more than five months. The letter seemed carefully worded to try to make it clear that the actors did not oppose guild leaders or the issues they believe in. However, It’s doubtful Rosenberg will see it that way.

“We feel very strongly that SAG members should not vote to authorize a strike at this time,” the letter read. “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.

“We support our union and we support the issues we’re fighting for, but we do not believe in all good conscience that now is the time to be putting people out of work.

“None of our friends in the other unions are truly happy with the deals they made in their negotiations. Three years from now all the union contracts will be up again at roughly the same time. At that point if we plan and work together with our sister unions we will have incredible leverage.”

A SAG spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment. Those who favor strike authorization began a solidarity campaign, complete with video testimonials. Among the high-profiles supporting the move are Ed Harris, Rob Morrow, Sandra Oh, Martin Sheen and Oscar winners Holly Hunter and Mel Gibson.

The opposition letter was released just hours before a meeting in New York, where Rosenberg, Allen and SAG first vp Anne-Marie Johnson were set to make a pitch to Gotham members to support the strike authorization referendum.

SAG needs at least 75% of voting members to approve the measure; if it passed, the national board would have the authority to call a strike. Moderates — which include members from New York, the regional branches and Hollywood-based faction Unite for Strength — have a slim majority on the national board. Meaning, even if strike-authority were granted, there’s no certainty it would be exercised.

The letter is the latest salvo in a relentless PR battle being fought on three fronts: Rosenberg, Allen and the negotiating committee, which favor strike authorization as a negotiating tool; guild moderates who object to SAG leadership’s handling of negotiations and its efforts to thwart AFTRA’s contract earlier this year; and the AMPTP, which has negotiated six agreements with Hollywood unions and is anxiously awaiting the guild to be the seventh.

Perhaps most troubling for Rosenberg has been the fight he has received from his own union. On Friday, the New York board sent a statement calling for the strike-authorization vote to stop and for the national negotiating committee to be dissolved, among other things. Rosenberg was irate, saying in a response later that day, “This action encourages and emboldens the AMPTP and seriously harms SAG members throughout the country.”

He called for a face-to-face emergency national board meeting for this Friday, then rescinded it when a prominent board member informed him a face-to-face meeting is unconstitutional, according to another national board member. Last week, at a national executive committee meeting, conducted via video conference, the New York and regional members walked out after Rosenberg twice interrupted a New York member who was trying to speak, according to two people who were present. The walkout effectively canceled the NEC meeting because there was no longer a quorum.

In a memo Monday to national board members canceling the emergency board meeting, Rosenberg referred to the incident. “Shortly after the meeting began and prior to addressing the agendized business, the New York members of the NEC all left the meeting, depriving us of a quorum and preventing us from completing Guild business. Given this conduct and the sensitivity and complexity of the issues at hand, I do not believe a video conference board meeting will be effective or productive.”

According to guild insiders, Rosenberg is angry that national board members would oppose official SAG policy. However, at the NEC several New Yorkers reminded the president that several current board members picketed SAG offices in 1997 to protest the commercials contract; later, some of that group were part of insurgent efforts to defeat a merger with AFTRA in 1998 and 2003. “For him to accuse any guild member for speaking their mind is rank hypocrisy,” said one New Yorker.

Despite the nearly 150 well-known actors on the list — which included Alec Baldwin, Maria Bello, Josh Brolin, Pierce Brosnan, Steve Carrell, Glenn Close, Billy Crystal, Matt Damon, Ted Danson, Jennifer Garner, Kelsey Grammer, Christopher Guest, Edward Norton, Camryn Manheim, Eva Longoria Parker and Bradley Whitford — there were some notable absences. Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro, who joined Hanks and Field in sending a letter to Rosenberg last winter calling for the guild to have early negotiations, did not sign; nor did any of the high-profile board members from Unite for Strength, such as Adam Arkin and Amy Brenneman.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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Front Page, Industry News

Big names move to stop strike authorization

A group of more than 130 well-known actors, including Oscar winners George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Kevin Spacey, Sally Field, Helen Hunt, Charlize Theron and Morgan Freeman, have sent a petition to SAG national president Alan Rosenberg, national executive director Doug Allen and other guild leaders, asking them to cancel the strike-authorization vote.

SAG’s negotiations with Hollywood producers for a new TV and film contract have been stalled for more than five months. The letter seemed carefully worded to try to make it clear that the actors did not oppose guild leaders or the issues they believe in. However, It’s doubtful Rosenberg will see it that way.

“We feel very strongly that SAG members should not vote to authorize a strike at this time,” the letter read. “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.

“We support our union and we support the issues we’re fighting for, but we do not believe in all good conscience that now is the time to be putting people out of work.

“None of our friends in the other unions are truly happy with the deals they made in their negotiations. Three years from now all the union contracts will be up again at roughly the same time. At that point if we plan and work together with our sister unions we will have incredible leverage.”

A SAG spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment. Those who favor strike authorization began a solidarity campaign, complete with video testimonials. Among the high-profiles supporting the move are Ed Harris, Rob Morrow, Sandra Oh, Martin Sheen and Oscar winners Holly Hunter and Mel Gibson.

The opposition letter was released just hours before a meeting in New York, where Rosenberg, Allen and SAG first vp Anne-Marie Johnson were set to make a pitch to Gotham members to support the strike authorization referendum.

SAG needs at least 75% of voting members to approve the measure; if it passed, the national board would have the authority to call a strike. Moderates — which include members from New York, the regional branches and Hollywood-based faction Unite for Strength — have a slim majority on the national board. Meaning, even if strike-authority were granted, there’s no certainty it would be exercised.

The letter is the latest salvo in a relentless PR battle being fought on three fronts: Rosenberg, Allen and the negotiating committee, which favor strike authorization as a negotiating tool; guild moderates who object to SAG leadership’s handling of negotiations and its efforts to thwart AFTRA’s contract earlier this year; and the AMPTP, which has negotiated six agreements with Hollywood unions and is anxiously awaiting the guild to be the seventh.

Perhaps most troubling for Rosenberg has been the fight he has received from his own union. On Friday, the New York board sent a statement calling for the strike-authorization vote to stop and for the national negotiating committee to be dissolved, among other things. Rosenberg was irate, saying in a response later that day, “This action encourages and emboldens the AMPTP and seriously harms SAG members throughout the country.”

He called for a face-to-face emergency national board meeting for this Friday, then rescinded it when a prominent board member informed him a face-to-face meeting is unconstitutional, according to another national board member. Last week, at a national executive committee meeting, conducted via video conference, the New York and regional members walked out after Rosenberg twice interrupted a New York member who was trying to speak, according to two people who were present. The walkout effectively canceled the NEC meeting because there was no longer a quorum.

In a memo Monday to national board members canceling the emergency board meeting, Rosenberg referred to the incident. “Shortly after the meeting began and prior to addressing the agendized business, the New York members of the NEC all left the meeting, depriving us of a quorum and preventing us from completing Guild business. Given this conduct and the sensitivity and complexity of the issues at hand, I do not believe a video conference board meeting will be effective or productive.”

According to guild insiders, Rosenberg is angry that national board members would oppose official SAG policy. However, at the NEC several New Yorkers reminded the president that several current board members picketed SAG offices in 1997 to protest the commercials contract; later, some of that group were part of insurgent efforts to defeat a merger with AFTRA in 1998 and 2003. “For him to accuse any guild member for speaking their mind is rank hypocrisy,” said one New Yorker.

Despite the nearly 150 well-known actors on the list — which included Alec Baldwin, Maria Bello, Josh Brolin, Pierce Brosnan, Steve Carrell, Glenn Close, Billy Crystal, Matt Damon, Ted Danson, Jennifer Garner, Kelsey Grammer, Christopher Guest, Edward Norton, Camryn Manheim, Eva Longoria Parker and Bradley Whitford — there were some notable absences. Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro, who joined Hanks and Field in sending a letter to Rosenberg last winter calling for the guild to have early negotiations, did not sign; nor did any of the high-profile board members from Unite for Strength, such as Adam Arkin and Amy Brenneman.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Front Page, Industry News

Big names move to stop strike authorization

A group of more than 130 well-known actors, including Oscar winners George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Kevin Spacey, Sally Field, Helen Hunt, Charlize Theron and Morgan Freeman, have sent a petition to SAG national president Alan Rosenberg, national executive director Doug Allen and other guild leaders, asking them to cancel the strike-authorization vote.

SAG’s negotiations with Hollywood producers for a new TV and film contract have been stalled for more than five months. The letter seemed carefully worded to try to make it clear that the actors did not oppose guild leaders or the issues they believe in. However, It’s doubtful Rosenberg will see it that way.

“We feel very strongly that SAG members should not vote to authorize a strike at this time,” the letter read. “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.

“We support our union and we support the issues we’re fighting for, but we do not believe in all good conscience that now is the time to be putting people out of work.

“None of our friends in the other unions are truly happy with the deals they made in their negotiations. Three years from now all the union contracts will be up again at roughly the same time. At that point if we plan and work together with our sister unions we will have incredible leverage.”

A SAG spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment. Those who favor strike authorization began a solidarity campaign, complete with video testimonials. Among the high-profiles supporting the move are Ed Harris, Rob Morrow, Sandra Oh, Martin Sheen and Oscar winners Holly Hunter and Mel Gibson.

The opposition letter was released just hours before a meeting in New York, where Rosenberg, Allen and SAG first vp Anne-Marie Johnson were set to make a pitch to Gotham members to support the strike authorization referendum.

SAG needs at least 75% of voting members to approve the measure; if it passed, the national board would have the authority to call a strike. Moderates — which include members from New York, the regional branches and Hollywood-based faction Unite for Strength — have a slim majority on the national board. Meaning, even if strike-authority were granted, there’s no certainty it would be exercised.

The letter is the latest salvo in a relentless PR battle being fought on three fronts: Rosenberg, Allen and the negotiating committee, which favor strike authorization as a negotiating tool; guild moderates who object to SAG leadership’s handling of negotiations and its efforts to thwart AFTRA’s contract earlier this year; and the AMPTP, which has negotiated six agreements with Hollywood unions and is anxiously awaiting the guild to be the seventh.

Perhaps most troubling for Rosenberg has been the fight he has received from his own union. On Friday, the New York board sent a statement calling for the strike-authorization vote to stop and for the national negotiating committee to be dissolved, among other things. Rosenberg was irate, saying in a response later that day, “This action encourages and emboldens the AMPTP and seriously harms SAG members throughout the country.”

He called for a face-to-face emergency national board meeting for this Friday, then rescinded it when a prominent board member informed him a face-to-face meeting is unconstitutional, according to another national board member. Last week, at a national executive committee meeting, conducted via video conference, the New York and regional members walked out after Rosenberg twice interrupted a New York member who was trying to speak, according to two people who were present. The walkout effectively canceled the NEC meeting because there was no longer a quorum.

In a memo Monday to national board members canceling the emergency board meeting, Rosenberg referred to the incident. “Shortly after the meeting began and prior to addressing the agendized business, the New York members of the NEC all left the meeting, depriving us of a quorum and preventing us from completing Guild business. Given this conduct and the sensitivity and complexity of the issues at hand, I do not believe a video conference board meeting will be effective or productive.”

According to guild insiders, Rosenberg is angry that national board members would oppose official SAG policy. However, at the NEC several New Yorkers reminded the president that several current board members picketed SAG offices in 1997 to protest the commercials contract; later, some of that group were part of insurgent efforts to defeat a merger with AFTRA in 1998 and 2003. “For him to accuse any guild member for speaking their mind is rank hypocrisy,” said one New Yorker.

Despite the nearly 150 well-known actors on the list — which included Alec Baldwin, Maria Bello, Josh Brolin, Pierce Brosnan, Steve Carrell, Glenn Close, Billy Crystal, Matt Damon, Ted Danson, Jennifer Garner, Kelsey Grammer, Christopher Guest, Edward Norton, Camryn Manheim, Eva Longoria Parker and Bradley Whitford — there were some notable absences. Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro, who joined Hanks and Field in sending a letter to Rosenberg last winter calling for the guild to have early negotiations, did not sign; nor did any of the high-profile board members from Unite for Strength, such as Adam Arkin and Amy Brenneman.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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