Watch CBS News

SAG-AFTRA overwhelmingly authorizes strike if contract talks stall

CBS News Live
CBS News Los Angeles Live

SAG-AFTRA members have overwhelmingly authorized a strike ahead of their negotiations with Hollywood studios. 

According to the union, nearly 65,000 members, or about 47.69% of its base, took part in the strike authorization vote. Of this total, 97.91% of them voted in favor of joining the Writers Guild of America if contract talks stall. 

"The strike authorization votes have been tabulated and the membership joined their elected leadership and negotiating committee in favor of strength and solidarity. I'm proud of all of you who voted as well as those who were vocally supportive, even if unable to vote. Everyone played a part in this achievement," said SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher. "Together we lock elbows and in unity we build a new contract that honors our contributions in this remarkable industry, reflects the new digital and streaming business model and brings ALL our concerns for protections and benefits into the now! Bravo SAG-AFTRA, we are in it to win it." 

According to their website, the Screen Actor's Guild - American Film, Television and Radio Artists represents more than 160,000 actors, journalists, radio personalities and more.

They are expected to enter negotiations with studios represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on June 7. 

In a letter sent to SAG members last month, the union listed a number of demands expected to be discussed later this week, including benefit plans, member protections from "erosion of income" by inflation and reduced residuals, unregulated use of artificial intelligence and demands for self-taped auditions. 

Their contract with AMPTP expires on June 30.

"We are approaching these negotiations with the goal of achieving a new agreement that is beneficial to SAG-AFTRA members and the industry overall," an AMPTP spokesperson said.

For six weeks, WGA writers have picketed outside of the major studios in Los Angeles and other parts of the United States after reaching an impasse with AMPTP. 

The union and its 11,500 members claim they are fighting for the continued existence of their professions as streaming and artificial intelligence threaten to push writers out of a job.

However, the AMPTP claims that it has extended a "generous" offer to writers and is willing to improve it — something that the WGA vehemently disputed, claiming it is "wholly insufficient."

Directors Guild of America reached a "truly historic deal" with the studios on June 4.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Paramount Global, which owns CBS and KCAL News, is part of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. In addition, many KCAL News anchors and reporters are SAG members. However, they operate under a different contract and are not part of the pending negotiations. Also, many KCAL News producers and writers are WGA members. However, they are on a separate contract.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.