SAG-AFTRA members have been busy assembling picket signs, with the deadline just days away for contract negotiations with studios and streamers to end.
The union posted several photos on Twitter Friday evening, along with a message saying it is preparing to strike if the talks break down. “If a strike becomes necessary, we’re ready,” read a post on the official SAG-AFTRA Twitter account.
The tweet included four photos of union members wearing “SAG-AFTRA Strong” T-shirts as they stapled the picket signs together.
If a strike becomes necessary, we're ready. pic.twitter.com/62kUzNId4e
— SAG-AFTRA (@sagaftra) July 8, 2023
The union’s three-year film and TV contract expired at 11:59 p.m. on June 30.
That night, the guild’s TV/Theatrical Negotiating Committee announced it would continue negotiating with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) in an effort to “exhaust every opportunity” to avoid a second Hollywood strike.
“After thorough deliberations, it was unanimously decided to allow additional time to negotiate by extending the contract until 11:59 p.m. PT on July 12, 2023,” the union said in a statement on June 30.
The announcement came as the Writers Guild of America strike, which began on May 2, continued into its third month.
SAG-AFTRA leaders represent 160,000 members. On June 5, the union announced that nearly 65,000 members had voted by 97.91 percent to authorize a strike if the guild doesn’t reach a new contract with the AMPTP.
Among the issues on the table are residuals when streaming platforms re-play TV shows and movies, plus new rules to protect against artificial intelligence using an actor’s likeness and replacing their work — as media conglomerates look for ways to cut costs.
The union began contract talks with the AMPTP on June 7. Once the extended July 12 negotiating deadline arrives, the guild could call a strike.
Broadcast journalists, who are also represented by SAG-AFTRA, would not be included in the walkout since they have separate contracts.