The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) is gearing up for a potential strike, as negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) have reached an impasse. The union’s contract with the AMPTP expired on June 30 (extended to July 12 on Friday), and SAG-AFTRA has said that it is prepared to walk off the job if a new deal is not reached.The performers’ union sent a survey to its 160,000 members on Thursday, asking them to indicate their willingness to picket and their interest in becoming leaders if a film and television work stoppage occurs.
What did SAG-AFTRA ask in their survey to prepare for a possible strike?
The survey asked members if they were available to picket as part of their local union if a strike occurred. The union noted that not all locals would be involved in picketing, so members were asked to indicate their availability and preferred times to demonstrate. It also offered several potential volunteer activities for members, including observing neutral gates, making signs, phone banking, leading chants, and being a strike captain. Members who were interested in any of these activities were asked to indicate their interest on the survey. Members who were open to stepping up as strike captains could do so in one of three capacities: studio lot picket coordinator, assistant studio lot picket coordinator, or gate picket captain.
The union also asked members if they spoke any other languages and if they would be willing to use those languages in strike support activities. They also asked members if they could picket in Los Angeles or New York in the coming days and to rank their preferences for picketing locations in Los Angeles. These locations include Amazon/Culver Studios, CBS Radford, CBS Television City, Disney, Fox, Netflix, Paramount, Sony, Universal, and Warner Bros. (WGA strikers are already present in these locations which could lead to a crowded situation if SAG-AFTRA goes on strike as well)
“SAG-AFTRA may soon call for a strike — a work stoppage, to put pressure on AMPTP companies to give us a fair deal on new TV/Theatrical Contracts. Part of waging a successful strike is picketing, where members peacefully protest outside of struck companies’ work locations to draw public attention to our cause, shut down production, and discourage strikebreakers. We need as many volunteers as possible to be effective. By taking this survey, you’re not obligating yourself to help, but it will help us make informed decisions about our members and resources if we ever need to ask for your assistance.”SAG-AFTRA
What could the effects of a SAG-AFTRA strike be?
If SAG-AFTRA chooses to go ahead with this decision, it will mark the first major strike from them since 2007. Joined with the WGA strike, they could likely achieve all their demands. The strike would have a significant impact on the entertainment industry, as it would shut down production on TV shows, movies, and commercials. It would also have a ripple effect on other industries, as it would lead to job losses in the supporting industries, such as catering and transportation.