SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) will meet again for bargaining on Monday, October 2. The union’s return to the negotiating table comes just days after the studios reached a tentative deal with the Writers Guild of America (WGA).
Representing around 160.000 Hollywood actors, SAG-AFTRA formally announced a strike after talks with major studios and streaming services failed in July of this year. Since then, actors have been taking to the streets to complain for many of the same reasons as writers, particularly pay rates, residual payments for streaming content and the use of artificial intelligence, which is consider a threat for the industry.
However, SAG-AFTRA has many demands that are specific to the needs of actors. For example, the union wants added protections or minimums for background actors and stunt performers. It also demands regulations on self-taped auditions. Moreover, its concerns regarding AI are much more complicated than even the writers had to deal with.
WGA finally reaching a tentative agreement with the AMPTP on a new three-year Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA) is clearly a good sign for SAG-AFTRA. On September 26, WGA’s Negotiating Committee, the WGAW Board and WGAE Council all voted unanimously to recommend this agreement. Now, it will now go to both guilds’ memberships for a ratification vote. Eligible voters will be able to vote from October 2-9, and will receive ballot and ratification materials when the vote opens.
The WGAW Board and WGAE Council also voted to lift the restraining order and officially ended the strike on Wednesday, September 27. This allowed writers to return to work during the ratification process, but does not affect the membership’s right to make a final determination on contract approval.
It took 148 days before the WGA strike finally came to an end, so it could take several more weeks of negotiations before a deal between SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP is tentatively reached and a vote is called to end the actors’ strike.