SAG delayed a potential strike authorization vote this weekend by deciding to request a Federal mediator to intervene in the negotiations between the major actors’ union and Hollywood producers, represented by AMPTP. Almost a year after a writer’s strike ground Hollywood to a halt for about 100 days, ruining the TV seasons of most shows, SAG now seems bent on producing the sequel to that strike.
I hate to sound like someone who sides only with the producers, but AMPTP has a point when they say that the terms under which they settled labor agreements with the WGA, DGA and AFTRA earlier this year were made under better financial conditions in the economy, so expecting a deal better than those is a position that simply doesn’t make sense for SAG to demand.
Still, if a Federal negotiator gets involved, don’t be surprised if the threat of a second Hollywood strike in less than a year has major political fallout, especially in an election year; not only in the state of California, but also potentially at the Federal level. Could this be the Democrats’ October surprise? Don’t bet a lot of Starbucks coffee against it.