The SAG-AFTRA National Board is speaking out in support of the Writers Guild of America in its ongoing negotiations with studios and streamers.
The artists’ union voted unanimously on a resolution on Saturday. The statement comes as the WGA, which represents more than 11,500 writers from film, television and streaming media, is just over a week away from its contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers that expires May 1.
“History shows that fairness and equality towards the workers who drive the creativity of the entertainment industry has only been achieved through solidarity and the efforts of the workers who work within their unions and guilds,” the SAG-AFTRA statement said. “Changes in the entertainment industry’s economics have worked to the advantage of large employers and, in many cases, to the detriment of the creators who make their businesses possible.”
Since March 20, the WGA has been in talks, with writers seeking compensation increases amid the streaming era and several Hollywood companies seeking cost cuts. As negotiations continue, some in the industry fear it could lead to a strike, especially after 98 percent of guild members voted to approve a strike if no new deal is reached by contract expiration.
The SAG-AFTRA resolution continued: “Workers are stronger when they are united, and the unions that represent them are more powerful by working together and working together. And after weeks of negotiations, it’s time for the employers in our industry to step up and make meaningful changes to fairly compensate writers and recognize their unique needs and concerns, along with those shared by all artists and employees in the industry.
“The National Board that SAG-AFTRA stands strong in support and solidarity with the members of the Writers Guild of America in contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. It is long overdue for the entertainment industry’s studios, streamers and other employers to remove roadblocks to fair and equitable wages and working conditions, and to agree to terms and conditions that reflect the unique value and contribution of creative talent and employees, without whom the industry would not exist.”
The support from the artist union also comes a week after it set a June 7 date to begin negotiations with AMPTP over a new contract.