SAG, studios start the clock again

Mediator to help sides resume contract talks

After four months of sniping at each other, SAG and the congloms will meet with a federal mediator with the goal of resuming contract talks — the congloms will meet Oct. 30; SAG hasn’t yet announced the date of its meeting.

The guild’s master contract covering features and primetime expired nearly four months ago, on June 30 — the same day the AMPTP made its final offer. Here’s what’s happened since then:

  • The AMPTP claims SAG members have lost $26.5 million in pay gains they would have received under the final offer.

  • SAG’s leaders claim they’ve been having informal negotiations with the congloms — an assertion denied repeatedly by the companies.

  • SAG’s postcard poll of members showed that 87% of those responding want the guild to hold out; the AMPTP blasted the results as bogus.

  • Citing the souring economy, the AMPTP has threatened to reduce the value of the $250 million offer to SAG.

  • SAG members have voted in enough moderates to the national board to give that side its first majority (by one vote ) in three years. That board voted Oct. 19 to hold off on sending out a strike authorization to members and asked instead for a mediator.

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