SAG-AFTRA sends message to potential strike volunteers

The Screen Actors Guild – Society of Television and Radio Artists of America (SAG-AFTRA) has not yet called for a strike against the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). Still, it seems to be heading in that direction. Based on The Hollywood ReporterSAG-AFTRA sent a message to its members asking for volunteers, the organization is preparing for a possible film and TV strike, which could start as early as next week.

SAG-AFTRA is calling for volunteers for a possible strike that could begin next week

The union told members on Thursday (July 6) that they are looking for volunteers for phone banking and signage. The message included a survey created by the union, asking its 160,000 members to fill out a measure of their willingness to picket and their interest in membership in the event of a possible work stoppage.

The message reads: “SAG-AFTRA may soon call for a strike – a work stoppage – to pressure AMPTP companies to give us a fair deal on new TV/Theatrical contracts.” He continued: “Part of discussing a successful strike is picketing, where members peacefully protest outside the workplaces of affected companies to raise public awareness of our cause, stop production, and deter strikebreakers. We need as many volunteers as possible to be effective.”


Members were also informed that they do not have to be afraid of committing to a task and that they do not commit themselves to help by filling out the questionnaire. In the survey, questions arise as to whether the members can picket in the event of a possible labor strike, and at what time they would like to demonstrate. This included opportunities for volunteer activities such as neutral gate monitoring, making signs for demonstrations, chanting, becoming a strike captain and other activities. Based on the survey, SAG-AFTRA is also looking for strike captain duties for studio area coordinator, assistant studio site coordinator and goalkeeper captain roles.

As The Blast previously reported, SAG-AFTRA announced Friday (June 30) that the organization has agreed to extend its contract with AMPTP through Wednesday, July 12 at 11:59 p.m. PST. Under the latest extension agreement, both sides can continue negotiations “subject to a mutually agreed upon media blackout.” The release also noted that neither organization would comment to the media about negotiations during the extension period.


SAG-AFTRA agreed to extend the AMPTP just hours before their previous agreement was set to expire on June 30 at 11:59 p.m. PST. Since the members already overwhelmingly voted in favor of authorizing the strike, the National Board of the trade union could have announced a strike as of July 1. Now that time has been pushed back slightly to July 13, and it appears the union is now taking additional steps to prepare for the strike.

On June 24, SAG-AFTRA released a video featuring union president Fran Drescher and chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland. At the time, negotiations with AMPTP were described as “extremely productive”. Not long after the video was released THR reported that hundreds of high-profile union members had signed a letter informing management that they were ready to strike to get the best possible deal for AMPTP. The members who signed the letter included such names as Oscar winners Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence, as well as Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) is also in its third month of labor disputes with the AMPTP. If SAG-AFTRA members go on strike later this month, it would effectively result in an industry-wide shutdown of all writing and acting.

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