Luke Skywalker isn’t backing the proposed SAG-AFTRA deal.
Mark Hamill is one of dozens of prominent members of the performers union urging a “No” vote on ratification of a successor deal on its master contract for feature films and primetime television work. Other notable names who are part of the Dissenting Opinion campaign include Patricia and Rosanna Arquette, Ed Asner, Laura Dern, Elliot Gould, Matthew Modine and Jonathan Taylor Thomas.
Balloting, which began in early July, concludes on Wednesday at 5 p.m. PDT.
The performers union, which reps 160,000 members, rolled out a video over the weekend of president Gabrielle Carteris urging a “Yes” vote on the new deal. Her key points are increases at $318 million over the three-year term of the contract, a 26% increase in fixed streaming residuals, and “groundbreaking” improvements in provisions for performers in nude and simulated sex scenes.
High-profile endorsers of the deal include Alec Baldwin, Robert De Niro, Stephen Lang, Rosie O’Donnell.
Opponents have said the new contract will “destroy” syndication the decades-old fixed residual formula with a three-year loss of $70 million and an eight-year loss of $170 million. They have also asserted that 1.5% of the proposed 2% pension and health increase will be deducted from the wage increase and that dropping the provision to require first-class travel for under 1,000 miles puts members at risk in the COVID era.
“There is a lot of false information out there,” Carteris said in the video. “This contract is actually a bridge to the future.”
The SAG-AFTRA national board approved sending out the contract for ratification on June 29 by a vote of 67.6% to 32.4%. But the Los Angeles board voted a week later to oppose ratification.
The opponents are part of the Membership First faction, which has pushed for a more assertive stance at the bargaining table. Carteris is head of the ruling Unite for Strength faction, which pushes for pragmatism.
Three years ago, SAG-AFTRA members ratified the current deal as the pact generated opposition from about one in every four members who voted. About 76% of members approved the deal with about 15% of the 144,000 eligible members voting — or about 22,000 in all.
Members of the performers union have not voted down a contract within memory. Should this contract be voted down, SAG-AFTRA negotiators would return to the bargaining table with studios to hammer out a different deal.