Thursday, June 5, 2008

SAG Shreds AFTRA's Contract

Variety and the Hollywood Reporter are reporting that SAG chief Alan Rosenberg, National Exec Director Doug Allan, and the activist Membership First faction are pushing to have SAG come out against the AFTRA deal and urge dual cardholders (members of both unions) to vote against the deal.

What a mess. If the unions had merged -- or continued to bargain jointly under the Phase 1 arrangement -- we wouldn't have this turmoil. SAG hasn't made a terribly convincing case that the AFTRA deal is so subpar that it deserves to be rejected, although certainly we can hope that SAG would achieve progress on compensation for product integration, an area in which AFTRA achieved nothing.

We'll listen closely to whatever rationale SAG offers, but it's hard to believe that any deficiencies in the AFTRA deal are so bad as to warrant rejection -- all deals are compromises -- let alone a strike or other type of work stoppage. The industry has been battered and bruised too much this year, and walking off a cliff is only going to hurt everyone in the long run, or even the short run.