SAG To Sacrifice Strike Card Early in Game?

Jonathan Handel at Digital Media Law, long close to the moderate faction of SAG and a friend of the new SAG NED David White, is quoting a source from Unite for Strength, the key group inside the moderate wing of SAG, as saying a strike by SAG is “difficult to envision.”

I had written here just after the fall SAG elections that a strike was unlikely and that the membership’s votes for moderate leaders at SAG and the WGA reinforced that position.

But I had hardly expected moderate leaders of SAG to leak the possibility that they too are moving away from the possibility of a strike.

This reinforces another argument I have made: that there is no serious strategic thinking taking place inside SAG and that that would undermine their bargaining power significantly leading to, at best, modest gains in the upcoming fall and spring contract talks.

This development can be paired with the news that despite the argument of NED White and UFS leaders that the best they could do when they took control of SAG a year ago was sign the deal on offer from the Producers. Turns out that the studios have had a record box office year, finishing up with Avatar. Only Goldman Sachs and those “fat cat bankers” as the President calls them have done better.

But UFS bought the “woe is me” arguments of the studios and caved quickly after taking office.

Now they seem to be taking the strike card off the table even before the bargaining begins.  Strange.

Digital Media Law: Hollywood Labor: SAG Source Says a Strike Unlikely, Joint SAG-AFTRA Bargaining Likely; and the Year Ahead.

3 thoughts on “SAG To Sacrifice Strike Card Early in Game?”

  1. Steve – as I recall, “strange” was the last word of your article (only reason I used the word). Yes – Jonathan’s article was lengthy and “detailed,” but contained no substance beyond what one might call “potentially informed suggestive speculation.” It’s fiction. Don’t get me wrong – I love fiction. And I’ve had similarly long conversations with all sorts of beings in Hollywood that could give birth to such a fiction. Either you or I could sit down and write a similar tome. But to what end? AMPTP ain’t buyin’ it. MF ain’t buyin’ it. UFS ain’t buyin’ it. USAN ain’t buyin’ it. And for an elected leader to “contest” it would only lend it credibility and power – where none exists. I speak only with the authority of one who knows what AIN’T goin’ on. And that’s all contained in Jonathan’s article.

  2. Who are you calling strange?! 🙂

    But seriously, Tom, the Handel piece is very detailed in its discussion of potential SAG bargaining positions and the relationship with AFTRA. It suggests to me he had a long conversation with a leading UFS’er who has direct knowledge of UFS’s approach.

    No one has come forward to contest anything he has had to say and I spoke to him yesterday and he certainly did not suggest that I had misstated his blog nor did he try to back away from anything he had said in the blog. And, of course, SAG Watch did report on the post but, “strangely” if you will, it left the lead statement about “no strike” out of its reporting!

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