AFL-CIO supports SAG’s hard-line stance

Union confab yields strategic cooperation

Striking union actors, gearing up for a far more aggressive attack on the ad industry, received renewed pledges of support Thursday from AFL-CIO leaders.

“The AFL-CIO has put their very best strategic planners, who specialize in running strikes, at our disposal because they know how important our strike is and how much impact it has on other unions,” said Screen Actors Guild prexy William Daniels. “This will help us turn it up a couple of notches.”

The meeting was supervised by AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer Richard L. Trumka at the org’s HQ in Washington, D.C. “It was a very encouraging and upbeat meeting,” Daniels added.

SAG and the American Federation of Television & Radio Actors are both affiliated with the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations, which reps over 13 million members. The unions have been guarded about disclosing their next corporate targets and actions but have indicated that they plan a major disruption of “business as usual.”

Goal is to boost pressure on advertisers to break the stalemate in negotiations. Those attending included Daniels, SAG chief negotiator and assistant national exec director John McGuire, national director of organizing Jerre Hookey and strike coordinator Todd Amorde.

Union leaders have been promising in recent weeks that their strike activities will become more aggressive. SAG and AFTRA’s recent choice of targets — GM, AT&T and McDonald’s have been the most popular — indicates that upcoming efforts will likely be aimed at a nationwide brand name.

Attack on producers

As part of the strategy, the unions have already attacked the Assn. of Independent Commercial Producers for its support of the ad industry during the strike through such practices as offering advice on producing struck work and threatening to blacklist strikers. In an ad placed in trade mag Shoot, SAG and AFTRA urged the production community to call on the AICP to remain neutral in the dispute.

AICP prexy Matt Miller said, “The ad is another misguided attempt to vilify the wrong parties.” He added that his org’s role has been limited to assisting producers, vendors and crews.

SAG and AFTRA leaders have also said they plan to ask municipalities to tighten procedures for obtaining film permits to shoot on public property along the lines of those enacted this week by the city of Santa Monica. SAG VP David Jolliffe said the org will seek similar rules in the cities of Burbank and Pasadena.

Growing frustration

Unions have been frustrated by lax enforcement of permit regs and by producers avoiding pickets by mislabeling shoots or filing for multiple permits.

SAG and AFTRA picketed Thusrday at non-union shoots by Procter & Gamble in Manhattan, the Wall Street Journal in Hollywood and Quaker Oats and Domino’s Pizza at Universal Studios.

Also, a union member distributing leaflets outside a Hollywood casting office was allegedly punched several times by a non-union actor but was not seriously hurt.

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