SAG members hear from the top

Leaders send 'educational' e-mail in run-up to strike-authorization vote

SAG's "educational campaign" toward strike authorization has begun.

The guild sent a Q&A e-mail to members Wednesday. The message was the first of many expected from the union leading up to a strike-authorization vote slated for this month.

"We need to show management that we are willing to fight to preserve our ability to earn a living as union performers; otherwise, management will take that away from us," SAG said.

On Nov. 22, a federal mediator broke off a two-day, 27-hour discussion between SAG and the studios' bargaining arm, the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers. The decision to end the mediation process resulted in SAG going forward with a strike-authorization vote from members.

In a separate messageWednesday, SAG president Alan Rosenberg said that pursuant to a resolution passed by the national board in October, SAG is launching its "member education campaign" and will send out ballots to all members.

The AMPTP has called SAG tone deaf and its actions bizarre. In a statement Wednesday, the group continued to question SAG's decision-making.

"SAG's latest mass e-mail fails on three counts," the group said. "It fails to explain why SAG deserves more than everyone else in the industry. It fails to justify why SAG members should bail out a failed negotiating strategy by striking during a time of historic economic crisis. And it fails to explain why it makes sense to strike when SAG members will lose more during the first few days of the strike than they could ever expect to gain." (partialdiff)