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SAG-AFTRA says A-listers’ $150m strike-ending proposal would not be legal

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Source: Jeremy Kay / Screndaily

Duncan Crabtree-Ireland at a SAG-AFTRA strike captains appreciation day outside Warner Bros on October 19 2023.

SAG-AFTRA’s top negotiators have responded to a proposal to end the strike from A-list talent led by George Clooney. Clooney, Tyler Perry, and Emma Stone, among others, proposed removing the membership dues cap to bring in more $50m a month and $150m in three years for the union. They also proposed a revised residuals system designed to pay out the lowest-earning member first. In fact, it is prohibited by federal labour law. Our Pension and Health Plans, for example, are funded exclusively by employer contributions. It also doesn’t speak to the scale of the overall package.”

“Having said that, their creativity and earnest desire to help solve the impasse are very much appreciated. It is important to note that the union has an extremely robust process for including the concerns of each member. The fact that the heads from the streaming companies, studios and networks are willing to communicate directly with them is a great thing. But the executives should not for one second think that they can use the good will of member emissaries to distract us from our mission.”

Earlier in the day, SAG-AFTRA’s national executive director and chief negotiator, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, also discussed the proposal. “It is perfectly normal for members to make suggestions. I take it as what it is, which is ideas coming from our members that are then considered by our leadership and either put into play or not.” I take it as what it is, which is ideas coming for our members that are then considered by our leadership and either put into play or not.”

Speaking to

Screen

outside the Warner Bros lot in Burbank where he was attending a strike captains appreciation day, the SAG-AFTRA negotiator also weighed in on comments by Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos yesterday intimating that the union’s proposal of a per-subscriber levy led to last week’s breakdown in talks.

“First of all, it’s not a levy,” said Crabtree-Ireland. “Compensating employees for their work isn’t a tax or levy. It’s what responsible companies do.” The union’s last proposal was said to cost Hollywood companies less than 57c per subscriber. The companies rejected this and said that it would cost them over $800m per year, a figure SAG-AFTRA deemed to be inflated. “That’s the problem with the way they conducted themselves during the first 80 days of the strike, and it seems to be a continuing issue.” I really am hoping and expecting that we’ll get back to the table soon.”Separately, it has emerged that SAG-AFTRA has encouraged members wearing Halloween costumes during the upcoming festivities to choose generic characters and not those from films or TV shows by struck companies.“We are trying to rent a bomb shelter”: How Israeli film production is re-starting under wartime protocols

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