SAG's 'final offer' is safe, at least for now


When the AMPTP made what it calls its final offer to SAG on June 30, it came with a caution: The offer would remain on the table unless there's a drastic change in the economy.

With Wall Street plunging, that day may be here. Since the June 30 offer was made, Disney shares have fallen 9% — and that's by far the least of the bunch. In that same frame, CBS is off 33%, News Corp. is down 29%, Time Warner is down 24%, and Viacom is off 23%.

Sources with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers said Monday that the offer will remain intact — at least until Oct. 18, when the newly realigned SAG national board meets and votes on whether to bring a strike authorization vote to its membership.

If members are asked to give the board strike authorization, the AMPTP is likely to wait until the results of that vote are in. What that means to the industry is that the current stalemate between SAG and the AMPTP is likely to continue for weeks.

But SAG chief negotiator Doug Allen said Monday that it would be unfair for the AMPTP to take the final offer off the table — despite its inadequacies by guild standards — and punish SAG for the downturn by offering them less than what directors, writers and fellow actors in AFTRA received.

"How is it fair for the AMPTP to espouse 'pattern bargaining' on the one hand and to take an offer off the table, which has been made to other unions, on the other hand?" Allen said. (partialdiff)