SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP to resume talks on Tuesday

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SAG-AFTRA and major Hollywood studios will return to the negotiating table on Tuesday, nearly two weeks after management halted talks, saying the sides were too far apart. The union’s bargaining committee confirmed in a message to members that the initiative to resume talks came from management.

“It is clear that the strength and solidarity shown by our members has sent an unmistakable message to CEOs. “As we have said repeatedly, we are ready, willing and able to engage at any time to meet and work across the board to achieve an agreement that is worthy of your sacrifice,” the SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee wrote.

News of the resumption of negotiations came Saturday afternoon in a brief joint statement from SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The statement noted that at least some executive leaders of AMPTP member companies would also be present. comes as SAG-AFTRA’s first industry-wide strike in more than 40 years reached the 100-day mark.

“SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP will meet for negotiations on Tuesday, October 24 at SAG-AFTRA Plaza. Several executives from AMPTP member companies will attend.”

The return to bargaining comes as internal pressure mounts on SAG-AFTRA leadership to find a path toward resolving contract negotiations and the union’s first industry-wide strike since 1980. George Clooney, a standout with a checkered history with Hollywood unions, emerged this week with an alternative proposal to ensure greater broadcast residuals. That ruffled feathers among SAG-AFTRA’s top brass, as it became a clear sign of unrest in the ranks.

AMPTP surprised SAG-AFTRA late on October 11 when it abruptly announced a “pause” in talks because the parties were simply too far apart on key issues. Studio leaders were more than a little irritated that four of Hollywood’s top executives spent five full days in bargaining sessions with the artists’ union without being able to close key gaps. Union leaders Fran Drescher and Duncan Crabtree-Ireland accelerated picketing activity and went on a press tour to warn the studios that the terms of the agreement on the table as of October 11 were not sufficient to end the strike.

The resumption of talks also comes against the clock in the window of opportunity to film new television episodes or movies before the end of the year. Before SAG-AFTRA’s talks with AMPTP took a sharp turn for the worse, industry insiders had been eyeing the week of Nov. 6 as a possible date to film some things, especially on television projects that were almost ready to go when the WGA began the summer of strikes on May 2.

The four leaders who have been in the contract conclave with the WGA and SAG-AFTRA have been Disney’s Bob Iger, NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos and Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslav. It’s not immediately clear if that quartet will regroup for the new round with SAG-AFTRA or if there will be new faces at the table.

Here is the full memo from the SAG-AFTRA bargaining committee:

As we mark the 100th day of our strike, we are pleased to confirm that company executives have asked us to return to the table. Official negotiations will resume on Tuesday, October 24.

It is clear that the strength and solidarity shown by our members has sent an unmistakable message to CEOs. As we have said repeatedly, we are ready, willing and able to engage at any time to meet and work across the board to achieve an agreement that is worthy of your sacrifice. Even this morning, just as our biannual SAG-AFTRA Convention is underway.

In the coming days there will likely be a lot of interest and potentially noise around our talks. Don’t believe anything you hear until it comes from us.

We are focused.

We are determined.

We will not falter.

One more day.

A stronger day.

As long as necessary.

Your Television and Theater Negotiating Committee

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