EXCLUSIVE: (Updated with SAG-AFTRA statement) As the WGA leadership and members move forward on the scribes’ tentative agreement with the studios and streamers, the 160,000-strong actors union could be sitting down with the AMPTP within days.
Riding the momentum that has hit Hollywood since the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers struck a deal on September 24, SAG-AFTRA leaders have penciled in meetings with the Carol Lombardini-led group by the end of next week, we hear.
As always in labor relations, the situation is fluid, and no negotiation has truly started until all participants are seated at the bargaining table. “We have no confirmed dates scheduled and there will not be meetings with the AMPTP this week,” a SAG-AFTRA spokesperson said Tuesday. “When we do have dates confirmed, we will inform our members. No one should rely on speculation.”
The AMPTP did not respond to Deadline’s requests for comment on the potential meetings.
The actors union has been on strike since July 14, when its members joined the WGA on the picket lines, creating Hollywood’s first joint strike since the Kennedy administration. The writers have suspended picketing and are awaiting details about their deal, which could come today or tomorrow.
WGA leaders on both coasts are scheduled to vote today on whether to send the tentative agreement to the general membership for ratification. If that occurs as expected, a vote by the nearly 12,000 members of the guild could come within several days, and a “yes” from them would end the WGA strike.
But the actors remain on the picket lines for now as both unions have pledged and shown solidarity with each other throughout the current labor strife.
While the WGA and SAG-AFTRA share similar concerns about AI, residuals and data transparency, to name a few, the actors union has some individual concerns that need to be addressed in its contract talks.
SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher has been vocal and passionate in her rhetoric, saying, among other things, that “the AMPTP’s maniacal corporate culture for greed must stop.” Meanwhile, the union’s National Executive Director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland has made many public appearances, including at the Toronto Film Festival, to talk up his side’s point of view.
Meanwhile, SAG-AFTRA members voted unanimously on Monday to authorize a strike against the video game industry, citing concerns including “the exploitative uses of AI and lagging wages.”
The union’s Chief Contracts Officer Ray Rodriguez said: “This strike authorization makes an emphatic statement that we must reach an agreement that will fairly compensate these talented performers, provide common-sense safety measures, and allow them to work with dignity. Our members’ livelihoods depend on it.”
David Robb and Erik Pedersen contributed to this report.