With the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic shutting the film and TV industries down for an almost catastrophic three months, the last thing anyone needs is a strike. Good news for performers and the rest of the industry. SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers) announced in a joint statement on Thursday that it has reached a tentative agreement on a new contract. The existing contract expires on June 30.
This agreement ends six weeks of videoconferencing negotiations between the actors guild and Hollywood’s producers led by AMPTP president Carol Lombardini, SAG-AFTRA Gabrielle Carteris and SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director and chief negotiator David White.
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The deal covers television, streaming and theatrical product, and is expected to center on wages, residuals and various aspects of working conditions such as holds and exclusivity.
The contract will now head to SAG-AFTRA’s national board of directors for approval and then to the guild’s membership for ratification.
While details are not known, the Hollywood Reporter believes, the agreement will most likely mirror the Directors Guild of America pact that was ratified April 3. On basic wages, the DGA achieved 3.5 percent and 3 percent wage/benefit increases.
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Meanwhile, the WGA began talks with the AMPTP on May 18 ahead of a June 30 contract expiration after a May 1 expiration was extended. The union has released extensive details on its bargaining position, which goes beyond what the DGA achieved.
Writers have continued working from home and via virtual writers rooms since the economic lockdown in March, but the situation is quite different for actors who are suffering from the production shutdown.