Sag Leader Calls Strike Talk "A Distraction"
Screen Actors Guild President Alan Rosenberg on Sunday called talk about the possibility of a strike "a distraction" even as the SAG contract with the studios and television networks approached its expiration at midnight tonight (Monday). "We have taken no steps to initiate a strike authorization vote by the members of Screen Actors Guild," Rosenberg said in a statement. However, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers indicated that much of the industry had already shut down while negotiations with SAG dragged on. "The AMPTP has made four major guild agreements so far this year, and there is no reason we can't make a fifth and final one with SAG and get the town back to working at full speed," the AMPTP statement said. But it is generally believed that no agreement is possible before July 8, when the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists is due to announce the outcome of a ratification vote on its deal with the AMPTP. Hollywood SAG leaders have been campaigning among members who also hold union cards in AFTRA to vote down the deal. On the other hand, should AFTRA members overwhelmingly approve it, SAG's leverage at the bargaining table would likely be weakened.