SAG-AFTRA’s leadership came together in a united front at the annual membership meeting in Los Angeles. The meeting was held to emphasize the importance of solidarity ahead of the upcoming contract negotiations. Although the leadership is divided along internal party lines, they set aside their differences for the sake of the union’s best interests, according to sources.
The guild’s negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers will begin on June 7, and their current contract expires on June 30. The more than 500 members in attendance were told that the guild would come to the bargaining table with a strong set of proposals, according to those who attended the four-hour virtual meeting.
President Fran Drescher and other leaders, including National Executive Director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, conveyed the importance of the upcoming negotiations and the need for strength and solidarity. Drescher also addressed concerns raised about her comments last week when she was on the Writers Guild’s picket line outside Paramount Studios. She vehemently denied suggestions that she was not showing enough solidarity with the writers’ strike and reiterated her unwavering support for the strike.
SAG-AFTRA is a large union that represents many different career paths, and the ongoing Writers Guild strike is about issues that do not directly involve actors. However, both unions share some common goals, such as higher pay, more residuals, and protection against artificial intelligence’s potential impact on jobs.
At the membership meeting, voices were raised, as is typical of such meetings, but support for both the ongoing Writers Guild strike and a fair SAG-AFTRA contract was virtually unanimous.