Union President Rejects George Clooney’s Proposal to End Strike

Union President Rejects George Clooney’s Proposal to End Strike

In a recent video posted on Instagram, SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher responded to George Clooney’s proposal to end the ongoing strike by lifting the cap on union dues. Clooney and other A-list actors had offered to contribute more to the union’s funds to bridge the gap between the studio and streamers’ offer and the union’s requests. However, Drescher stated that Clooney’s proposal is not legally compatible with the union’s contract, and it does not address the main issues causing the strike.

Drescher expressed her gratitude towards the members who generously contributed to the union’s foundation, including Clooney, for organizing the suggestion to remove the cap on dues. However, she pointed out that as a federally regulated labor union, only contributions from employers are permitted to go into the pension and health funds. Therefore, the proposal to have the highest-paid members contribute more through the removal of caps cannot be implemented.

Drescher emphasized the importance of understanding the legal limitations regarding the union’s benefits. While the offer by Clooney and supporters was considered generous and appreciated, the union is bound by the terms of its current contract. Any changes to the pension and health funds must be negotiated with the employers and included in the contract. Thus, the proposal to lift the cap on dues does not address the specific benefits that the union is fighting for in the ongoing negotiations.

Another aspect of Clooney’s proposal was to address the discrepancy in residuals payments by prioritizing lower-income members. However, Drescher highlighted a legal hurdle in implementing this suggestion. Although some individuals may have suggested a possible solution to reintroduce residuals, the union’s experienced contract staff negotiators and lawyers vetted the idea and concluded that it would not be viable. The complexities of the existing contract make it difficult to achieve a fair and equitable system for residuals based on income.

Despite the appreciation for the efforts to support all union members, Drescher reiterated that the union’s negotiating committee is still waiting for the CEOs to return to the table for further discussions. The strike has disrupted the industry, and it is crucial for the studio representatives to engage in constructive dialogue to find a resolution that benefits both parties.

While George Clooney and his supporters intended to contribute more to the union’s funds and address the issues causing the strike, SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher explained the legal constraints that prevent the implementation of their proposal. The union is bound by its current contract, and any changes to the pension and health funds must be negotiated with the employers. Additionally, the suggestion to prioritize residuals based on income was deemed unfeasible due to the complexities of the existing system. The union remains hopeful that the CEOs will return to the negotiation table to find a resolution and end the ongoing strike that has impacted the industry.

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