On Sunday night, SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris and National Executive Director and chief negotiator David White sent a message to guild members announcing strike authorization, following continued clash with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.
"We have presented reasonable proposals to address the critical concerns facing our members," says the statement to SAG-AFTRA members, "and that are integral to making a living in this industry. The AMPTP has responded with outrageous rollbacks that cut to the core of our basic terms and conditions. Despite our efforts, the AMPTP has failed to move on our most critical issues. The status quo is simply unacceptable and our members, standing together, will not give in to management’s onerous demands nor back down on our critical proposals."
The SAG-AFTRA National Board of Directors has been in heavy negotiations with the AMPTP and unanimously voted to authorize sending out a strike authorization referendum to members, with an ultimatum for the end of the month, when the current contract between the two organizations expires. This is not a strike, but an authorization for union negotiators to strike if fair agreements cannot be reached.
"Now more than ever, our collective strength, unity and commitment is critical to securing the fair contract our members deserve. Stay engaged in the process and stand together in supporting each other and our negotiators," the statement reads.
SAG-AFTRA is currently in the midst of its video game voice actor strike since the end of 2016. Union strikes have occurred as far back as the 1950s, most notably the Emmy boycott and strike that spanned nearly 100 days in the 1980s fronted by Ed Asner.