SAG stands behind British Equity plan

U.S. guild to back union if strike happens after Nov. 30 deadline

HOLLYWOOD — Leaders of the Screen Actors Guild’s national board have pledged to support any strike by British Equity, which faces a Nov. 30 expiration on its film contract.

Move, announced Monday, indicates that the 98,500 guild thesps will be told to refuse work on any struck film.

“I’m certain every SAG member will support our efforts to help the members of British Equity at this crucial time,” said SAG prexy William Daniels in a letter to Ian McGarry, general secretary of British Equity.

SAG already has issued a bulletin to franchised agents instructing them to contact it prior to accepting any employment within Britain that may go past Nov. 30.

“SAG will advise you whether acceptance of any specific offer will adversely affect British Equity’s efforts to obtain a fair contract,” the bulletin said.

SAG spokesman Greg Krizman said the move, approved unanimously by the national board at its most recent meeting, reflected the guild’s appreciation of the support the British union gave its American counterparts last year during the six-month strike by SAG and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists against the ad industry.

“There were a significant number of British Equity members who turned down work on non-union ads during the strike,” he added.

British Equity began bargaining for a new pact in May but rejected the film producers’ offer last month. It has since told its 36,000 members to refuse any movie work after Nov. 30.

One of the sticking points in the talks stems from British Equity’s attempts to change the system in which actors are paid a flat fee in advance for TV, video and DVD sales.

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