'Fireworks' expected at next SAG meeting


SAG leaders will sit down Saturday with their national board for the first meeting since the actors union's contract with producers expired.

One board member predicted there will be "fireworks" during the regularly scheduled meeting over the current state of negotiations. SAG has continued to insist it is still negotiating with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers, yet no meetings between the sides have been scheduled since last week.

The AMPTP has said negotiations ended with its final offer made June 30, when the contract expired. So far, the Hollywood studios have stood firm on that contention as well as refusing to accept the counterproposal SAG made in response to the final offer.

The meeting Saturday will open with SAG president Alan Rosenberg delivering remarks to the board, followed by comments from national executive director and chief negotiator Doug Allen. Then the floor will open to questions from board members, including regional members from Los Angeles and New York, many of whom attend via video conference.

The meeting also includes a look at SAG's finances.

One board member said many of the members plan to push for the negotiating team to focus on just the important labor contract issues and take off the table lesser matters, including an increase in mileage reimbursement and DVD residuals.

The member identified two key issues SAG needs to push for members: retaining force majeure provisions for members and jurisdiction over new-media productions that are considered nonunion. (partialdiff)