Now there really is a deal in place between AFTRA and the AMPTP. And it appears to be a black eye in the face of Membership First-led SAG on the issue of consent for clips use. The SAG/MF crowd had alleged that AFTRA was set to give up on the issue of consent for clip use in the new media environment. Of course, the devil is in the details but it looks like a clear victory on that issue after a tough round of negotiations by AFTRA.
SagWatch.net has a summary of the contract details here. They suggest that the deal largely follows the pattern set by the WGA and DGA. That puts the SAG/MF group in a very tough spot since they came into office promising to break any pattern bargaining and targeted AFTRA in particular but now all three talent unions have accepted a deal under the same basic framework.
How will the two Allens break with that pattern in the time remaining? They have already conceded on any significant change to the DVD residuals formula – apparently without any concession in return from the AMPTP. And now if the 44,000 dual cardholders weigh in to support the AFTRA terms the SAG reps have very little to go on.
This is precisely the scenario that critics warned Membership First about when they began their attack on AFTRA. It is now reasonable to ask whether the concerns, just or not, about jurisdiction over a handful of cable shows were worth sacrificing leverage at the bargaining table for the entire membership.
But that was the MF strategy – if we get AFTRA out of the room we can strike a better deal. Now that theory is about to be tested in the real world.