×

SAG-AFTRA Leaders Approve Commmercial Contract Proposal

SAG-AFTRA’s national board has approved the proposal for its commercials contract negotiations with the advertising industry.

The talks will begin Feb. 20 in New York City, six weeks ahead of the March 31 expiration of the current three-year deal. The union’s negotiating committee will be chaired by President Gabrielle Carteris and national executive director David White will serve as chief negotiator.

SAG-AFTRA leaders have hammered out the proposal through a required series of member meetings in recent months. The union, which represents about 160,000 performers, is giving no details as to the proposal, asserting that “as a matter of longstanding union practice,” negotiating committee members are not identified and noting that it will not comment further due to a mutually agreed upon news blackout with the industry.

The contract covers about $1 billion in annual revenues for performers. SAG-AFTRA has held more than two dozen demonstrations in recent months against New York ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, which abandoned its union contract in September, asserting that the agreement is outdated and accusing SAG-AFTRA of being inflexible. SAG-AFTRA told its members not to work for BBH, which has produced commercials for Audi, Absolut, Ikea, Samsung, and Virgin Media.

The board also voted Saturday to renew its employment agreement with White, extending his contract for three years to Feb. 1, 2023. It said details of the agreement are confidential. The union’s required LM-2 filing in 2018 with the U.S. Department of Labor showed that White was paid $726,643 for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2018. SAG-AFTRA reported that it had $312.9 million in assets and $245.8 million in liabilities at that point.

White was general counsel from 2002 to 2006 for SAG and replaced became national executive director in 2009 when the board fired Doug Allen from the post. White was opposed by the self-styled progressives of the Membership First faction of elected leaders, but that group saw its clout diminished in the subsequent years.

White campaigned actively for a merger of SAG with AFTRA along with SAG President Ken Howard, asserting that the combined union would have more power and operate more effectively. White became the national executive director of SAG-AFTRA in 2012 when the members voted to combine the unions.

In early 2014, White’s name emerged as a candidate for a similar post with the National Basketball Players Assn. However, the players union opted select Washington, D.C. attorney Michelle Roberts for the post, and the SAG-AFTRA board extended White’s deal later that year to 2018. The deal was extended in 2016 to the year 2020.

Carteris said in a statement following the meeting, “I am thrilled that the national board overwhelmingly voted to ensure David’s executive expertise and stewardship of SAG-AFTRA’s operations will continue for another four years. It speaks to the strength and stability of this union and our forward vision.”

White also released a statement about the extension: “SAG-AFTRA is a truly extraordinary organization and I continue to be excited and energized by the opportunity to lead this operation. I look forward to continuing my partnership with our members, our elected leaders and the talented staff of this union. I want to thank President Carteris, the officers and the National Board for their confidence and giving me this opportunity to serve.”

More Film

  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Columbia Pictures claims the top spot in spending with “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Ads placed for the drama had an estimated media value of $5.71 million through Sunday for 997 national ad [...]

  • Circus of Books

    Outfest Film Review: 'Circus of Books'

    Rachel Mason grew up believing that her parents ran a small bookstore in Los Angeles. She wasn’t entirely mistaken, although the naive young woman — then an artsy teen, now a documentary filmmaker — never imagined that, as her mother Karen bluntly tells her on camera, “at one point, we were probably the biggest distributor [...]

  • Themba Ntuli and Ashley Lazarus

    Ashley Lazarus, Director of Apartheid-Era Cult Classic, Returns to Screen

    DURBAN–Director Ashley Lazarus, whose film about the interracial friendship between two young boys during the apartheid era became a South African cult classic in the 1970s, is set to return to the big screen with a film that builds on his life-long passion for early-childhood education. “Teacher Wanted” is the inspirational story of a teacher [...]

  • Channing Tatum

    Channing Tatum's Free Association Partners With Atwater Capital for Film Development Fund

    Free Association, a production company led by Channing Tatum, Peter Kiernan and Reid Carolin, has entered into a film development fund with Atwater Capital. The four-year $2 million revolving fund stipulates that Atwater will finance a minimum of five films with Free Association. Michael Parets, VP of production, will oversee the deal. Free Association will [...]

  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    Box Office: Tarantino's 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Takes on 'Lion King'

    Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” will have to take on much more than a changing showbiz landscape. This weekend, the washed-up actor and his majordomo are battling Disney’s juggernaut “The Lion King” at the domestic box office. Tarantino’s R-rated auteur [...]

  • Margot Robbie Once Upon a Time

    Margot Robbie Says 'Barbie' Movie Will Put 'Positivity' Into the World

    Over the last 10 years, Margot Robbie has stepped into the skates of Tonya Harding, taken up the mantle of Harley Quinn and, next up, she’s playing the world’s most famous doll, Barbie. The live-action film is due out in 2020 and set to be written by Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, while Robbie serves [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content