SAG members pack Monday meeting

Nearly all indicated they'll vote for strike authorization

On Monday night, SAG had SRO for its informational meeting about possibly going AWOL.

The embattled actors union held a spirited town hall meeting at the Harmony Gold Theater to discuss its looming strike authorization procedure. Only 450 or so members were able to fit into the venue, but, according to SAG president Alan Rosenberg, nearly all raised their hands for an informal head count of who would vote for strike authorization before the end of the year.

SAG leadership has not yet announced a date that the ballots will go out to its 120,000 members. But at least 75% of those who vote on the measure would have to respond "yes" for the national board to have authority to call a strike.

SAG will hold two more informational meetings at larger venues in the coming weeks -- one in New York on Monday night and one at the Renaissance Hotel on Dec. 17. On Wednesday night, the guild will meet with managers and publicists on both coasts to discuss the status of negotiations.

Rosenberg, executive director and chief negotiator Doug Allen, negotiating committee chief David Jolliffe and other SAG officers spoke at Monday night's meeting and answered questions from members.

While fielding opposition and clarifying confusion about both its new-media contract demands and the recent WGA arbitration filing claiming that the companies have not paid any new-media residuals due from its February agreement, the SAG brass stressed the need to move forward with the vote as a tool to pressure the companies.

SAG and the AMPTP, the companies' negotiating representative, have been in a stalemate since the end of June, when the AMPTP delivered what it termed its final offer.

Meetings with a federal mediator throughout October and November failed to broker an agreement.