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Will the SAG-AFTRA be the next Hollywood union to strike?

The SAG-AFTRA have called for a strike authorization vote before negotiations even begin.

The SAG-AFTRA have called for a strike authorization vote before negotiations even begin.
Jordan StraussAP

The Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists are already gearing up for a strike, following the footsteps of their peers, the Writers’ Guild of America.

The WGA went on strike May 1 at midnight, following a nearly unanimous vote for strike authorization and unmet contract demands.

Now, the SAG-AFTRA, which is representative of some 160,000 performers, are getting “all [their] ducks in a row” before their talks with producers even begin.

The SAG-AFTRA statement

The union announced Wednesday that it planned to conduct an internal strike authorization vote to see if they will go on strike should their negotiations go sour, as did those of the WGA.

Negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers are slated to kick off June 7, with the contract expiry date looming June 30.

“We must get all our ducks in a row should the need present itself,” union President Fran Drescher said, adding that the union would not necessarily be joining the writers on the picket line, but rather are hoping for “maximum bargaining leverage” in negotiations.

“The prospect of a strike is not a first option, but a last resort,” the president continued. “As my dad always says, ‘Better to have and not need than to need and not have!’”

“The outlook for working actors becomes unsustainable without transformative change.

The writers and actors want different things?

In an interview with Deadline a week previous, the union president said that the two unions are fighting different issues.

“I don’t think what’s very important to writers — and I’m a writer too in the WGA — is the kind of stuff that we’re going after,” Drescher revealed. “Although I’m very empathic for their needs to be honored, I feel like our conversation is going to be very different. And I feel very hopeful that maybe we won’t get to this point.”