In the battle of press releases, one theme resonates from the Producers: since all the other guilds in town agreed to the deal on the table, SAG should too.
On its face that seems a reasonable argument – why should there be a single hold out that refuses to go along with what everyone else got? It’s only fair that SAG, too, agree to the template.
No doubt that argument will fuel some of the emerging opposition to a strike authorization that will come from various quarters around the industry.
The only problem is that it is based on a false premise. The reality is that the so-called “template” that the AMPTP wants SAG to squeeze into is no template at all. It was a compromise that was made by the WGA when they were unable to win a better deal after a 100 day walkout.
That hardly makes this particular package a model for the entertainment industry.
The only problem for SAG, however, is that their foolish “go it alone” and anti-AFTRA campaign helped undermine the ability of the other unions to secure a better deal. For the past year, Membership First leaders put in place an arrogant and self-centered “strategy” that has left the Guild in a very weak bargaining position. And their professional staff was either unable to devise a different approach or unwilling to confront the dead end MF tactics.
So now the Guild is sliding down a slippery slope to what will likely be a poorly organized and unpopular walkout. That the AMPTP can get away with the kinds of specious arguments it has been making in the press of late confirms the predicament SAG finds itself in.