SAG-AFTRA has agreed to involve a federal mediation agency in its ongoing negotiations with the studios and broadcasters, but refuses to extend those talks beyond July 12.
In a strongly worded statement Tuesday night, the union said it “will not distract us from negotiating in good faith to ensure a fair deal before the expiration of our agreement.” He added: “We are committed to the negotiation process and will explore and exhaust all possible opportunities to reach an agreement, however we are not sure that the employers intend to negotiate an agreement.”
The announcement comes just hours after news broke that the Alliance of Film and Television Producers (AMPTP) had requested the services of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, the federal agency tasked with helping to resolve labor disputes. The request came after several high-level executives, including Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos, Warner Bros.-Discovery boss David Zaslav, Disney Entertainment co-chairmen Dana Walden and Alan Bergman, suggested the idea. of a federal wiretap on the calls Monday. the hollywood reporter confirmed.
But in its statement on Monday, SAG-AFTRA threw cold water on what it described as an intentional leak. to Variety earlier in the day for what he claimed was “by the CEOs and their ‘anonymous sources’ before our negotiators were informed of the mediation request.” The union added: “AMPTP has abused our trust and damaged the respect we have for them in this process. We will not be manipulated by this cynical ploy to engineer an extension when the companies have had more than enough time to make a fair deal.”
As the clock ticks down to the current TV/drama contract expiration date of Wednesday at 11:59 pm, the union has a strike authorization vote in hand so they can call a strike on Thursday. The union highlighted this fact in its statement on Tuesday: “Time is running out,” SAG-AFTRA said.
More to come.