Thursday, December 25, 2008

Analysis: SAG Should Face the Facts

Guild Needs to Find Exit Strategy
By Cynthia Littleton

As the prima facie evidence mounts that SAG's 122,000-plus members are in no mood to approve a strike authorization vote, the guild's two top bosses -- prexy Alan Rosenberg and national exec director Doug Allen -- seem to be twisting in the chilly December wind, looking for reinforcement on their ill-advised decisions on their contract negotiations strategy with Hollywood's majors.

The latest gyration came late Monday night when Allen advised members via email that the strike authorization vote, originally skedded to commence Jan. 2, would be delayed until after SAG holds an emergency national board meeting on Jan. 12-13.

According to Allen, the powwow is needed to "address the unfortunate division and restore consensus" among SAG leaders for the strike authorization vote. Rosenberg said it would also give the guild more time for "member education and outreach" on why SAG leaders need to have the club of a strike threat in their back pocket.

The move to delay is a reaction to the rising chorus of SAG members saying "What are you, nuts?" in response to the guild's call for a strike authorization vote. That list includes the bulk of the guild's New York board, which requested the emergency meeting; the Chicago board; and more than 1,500 members, many of them marquee names, who have vowed to vote against the authorization.

SAG toppers emphasize that a vote to authorize a strike does not automatically mean they'd be hitting the picket lines, but guild members can be forgiven for not wanting to hand a loaded gun to the leaders who have waged such a quixotic contract negotiation campaign for nearly a year.

Read the entire article here