US actors union ready to return to negotiating table ‘at a moment’s notice’

US actors union Sag-Aftra has said its negotiating team “remains ready at a moment’s notice to go back to the bargaining table to secure a righteous deal”.

A statement from negotiators said the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) appeared to be “unwilling” to make necessary concessions.

The union, which represents around 160,000 members of the industry, has been on strike since July 14, causing a major stalling of multiple Hollywood productions.

Hollywood Strikes-Delayed Projects
Striking writers and actors take part in a rally outside Paramount studios in Los Angeles (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)

A statement put out by Sag-Aftra negotiators on Monday said union solidarity is “more important than ever”.

“As the strike continues, we are constantly inspired by your strength and numbers on the picket lines and your support on social media,” the statement read.

“Sag-Aftra’s negotiating team remains ready at a moment’s notice to go back to the bargaining table to secure a righteous deal.

“Unfortunately, as we’ve seen from the recent news out of the WGA (Writers Guild of America) negotiations, it appears the AMPTP is still unwilling to make the concessions necessary to make a fair deal that would bring the strikes to a close.

“Our solidarity remains more important than ever.”

Last week the WGA rejected a counter-offer by the AMPTP saying the proposals were “neither nothing nor nearly enough”.

Since the beginning of the strike, some independent productions have been granted interim agreements to allow them to resume.

Sag-Aftra chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland previously said the agreements were introduced to “give journeymen performers and crew the opportunity to pay their bills and put food on the table by working on these indie projects”.

Monday’s statement from negotiators also urged members to stop “negative comments” about people promoting projects under interim agreements.

“Whether from within or without our organisation, not only are remarks of this nature unhelpful to performers, but by dividing us, they do the AMPTP’s work for them,” the statement said.

“To be crystal clear, once an agreement is in place, we fully encourage all of our Sag-Aftra members to work under that agreement AND to promote work made under that agreement.

“The more projects that get made with the interim agreement, the weaker the AMPTP becomes. So, let’s lift up our fellow performers who are out there working.”