The SAG AFTRA has revealed that they are evaluating a “last, best and final offer” from the AMPTP that could see the 4-month long strike come to a conclusion. The SAG AFTRA Leadership has revealed that they are reviewing the offer and drafting a response within the context of the group’s demands.
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About the SAG AFTRA Strike
The SAG AFTRA, which stands for the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, is on strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). The strike began on the 14th of July, 2023 and is the first major strike by the group. The strike in combination with the writer’s guild strike represents a wider context of labour conflicts in the Entertainment Industry.
The strike is a result of changes in the industry that are unwelcome by the group. Development in AI represents a massive shift in the industry with Writers being apprehensive of losing their means of livelihood. In addition, the SAG AFTRA is seeking higher residuals (payments that writers receive when their work is re-used). Newer channels of media streaming like OTT Platforms represents a change that major studios haven’t adopted to, SAG AFTRA is seeking for newer rules about compensation when it comes to streaming services.
Negotiations between SAG AFTRA and AMPTP began in June 2023 with both parties being hopeful of reaching a common conclusion as soon as possible. While both parties admitted to the negotiations being productive, the AMPTP requested for federal assistance in the negotiations and the SAG AFTRA admitted that they felt that the AMPTP was resistant to bargain. As a consequence of the differences between the two parties, a strike was announced.
After a long and arduous struggle, the two parties met for negotiations for the first time since July on the 2nd of October. Repeated meetings took place between the 2nd and the 11th when negotiations broke down with both parties accusing the other of using pressure tactics. Negotiations resumed almost 2 weeks later on the 24th of October. Since then, multiple negotiations have taken place with SAG AFTRA leaders claiming that “it feels like we are in the last stretch”.
“Last, Best and Final Offer”
On the 4th of November, all parties involved in the struggle convened. Later that day, SAG AFTRA leaders revealed that they were evaluating a “Last, Best and Final Offer”. They also said that the decision to accept the deal would be one they take after careful deliberation, keeping in mind all their demands.
According to some reports, the SAG AFTRA’s negotiating committee will be meeting on Sunday, the 5th of November, to evaluate the offer and make a final decision. This offer may be the last one for the year, as some top executives have indicated that they may not be willing to negotiate further for some time.
According to The Week, an insider claims that the deal is worth more than the three last deals put together. The insider also says that the SAG AFTRA have got all they wanted and more. If the deal isn’t accepted, latest by the 2nd week of November, the 2024 Movie and TV Summer will “go down the drain”.
The latest offer on the table is said to have made a lot more concessions. It addresses all the grievances of the SAG AFTRA in relation to AI, Streaming Services and Residuals. From the AMPTP’s perspective, they have already offered their maximum, and if an agreement is not reached, the studios will find themselves pondering their next steps with uncertainty.
The strike highlights the need for just treatment of actors and writers in the entertainment industry. It also gives us an indication of how industries may be affected by the incorporation of automation. There is optimism that the studios’ proposal will be accepted, leading to a return to regular operations with improved regulations. Effective discussions will inspire hope that, regardless of the influence wielded by “those in charge,” the voices of the people will not go unheard.