Sag rejects AMPTP's final offer

MUMBAI: The Screen Actors Guild (Sag) national board of directors in the US voted 73 per cent to 27 per cent to reject the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) "last, best and final offer" dated 19 February, 2009.

Sag states that it entered this round of negotiations to send a clear message that it was ready to make a deal. "In an effort to put the town back to work, our negotiator agreed to modify the Guild’s bargaining position to bring the Guild in line with the deals made by our sister unions."

The AMPTPs last-minute, surprise demand for a new term of agreement extending to 2012, Sag notes, is regressive and damaging and clearly signals the employers’ unwillingness to agree to the deal they established with other entertainment unions.

According to the body, the demand for a new term of agreement was not part of their final offer of 30 June, 2008; it was not part of the federally mediated talks of November 2008, and should not have been inserted into the discussions when Sag returned to negotiations on 17 February, 2009.

Says sag, "What management presented as a compromise is, in fact, an attempt to separate Screen Actors Guild from other industry unions. By attempting to extend our contract expiration one year beyond the other entertainment unions, the AMPTP intends to deleverage our bargaining position from this point forward."

"Screen Actors Guild’s goal is to successfully complete these negotiations and get the industry back to work as soon as possible. The AMPTP has clearly stated their need and desire for financial certainty and industry peace. This new proposal does the exact opposite, and will only result in constant negotiating cycles and continued labor unrest," Sag adds.

AMPTP, meanwhile, reiterates that its offer is strong and fair - and has been judged to be strong and fair by all of Hollywood‘s other major guilds and unions. "We have kept our offer on the table - and even enhanced it - despite the historically unprecedented economic crisis that has clobbered our nation and our industry," states AMPTP.

"The Producers have always sought a full three-year deal with Sag, just as we negotiated with all the other Unions and Guilds, and have offered Sag a way to achieve an earlier expiration date without contributing to further labor uncertainty. We simply cannot offer Sag a better deal than the rest of the industry achieved under far better economic conditions than those now confronting our industry," AMPTP opined.

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