I was in the middle of, well, working on a novel, when I was “texted” with the news: AFTRA approves by 62%!
The Onion once wrote a parody article about novelists going on strike. Here in Hollywood, there are still some stakes involved. For now. But frankly, it hasn’t been a “hot streak” for unions lately, about which, more on this blog — and in print — in the days and weeks to come.
Meanwhile, if you haven’t seen the news, the LA Times doubled up their reliable showbiz bylines and had both Verrier and Eller report the news this midnight, from which we post the excerpt below:
AFTRA, in blow to SAG leaders, approves contract
A three-year pact is passed by 62.4% of the union’s membership. The larger guild, seeking a better deal, could still take the risky step of a strike authorization vote.
By Richard Verrier and Claudia Eller, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
A campaign by the Screen Actors Guild to persuade members of a smaller rival union to vote down a new contract has foundered, an outcome that could weaken SAG’s leverage in its negotiations with the Hollywood studios.
Members of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists on Tuesday approved a new three-year, prime-time TV contract, dealing a blow to SAG leaders who had gambled heavily on defeating a contract they blasted as bad for actors.
The AFTRA vote — widely viewed as a barometer of support for SAG negotiators — doesn’t eliminate the prospect of a strike, but it leaves the guild with fewer alternatives. The protracted negotiations are causing uncertainty throughout Hollywood, holding up feature film productions and casting a pall over the upcoming fall TV season.
“It’s hard to not see this as a setback because they invested so much in this and drew a line in the sand,” said David Smith, a labor economist at Pepperdine University. “It’s probably going to limit their ability to negotiate for what they want.”
More at the link — and to come…