SAG-AFTRA strikes end after 118 days, studios reach agreement with actors

IANS Photo

IANS Photo

LOS ANGELES, NOVEMBER 9 (IANS): The historic SAG-AFTRA strikes have reached the end as the negotiators for SAG-AFTRA have approved a tentative agreement.

The agreement will end the longest actors' strike against the film and TV studios in Hollywood history, reports Variety. In an announcement on Wednesday (Pacific Standard Time) the union said the 118-day strike would officially end at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday (Pacific Standard Time).

The union's negotiating committee approved the deal on a unanimous vote. The agreement next goes to the SAG-AFTRA national board for approval on Friday. The two sides spent the last several days putting the finishing touches on the deal, which will see the first-ever protections for actors against artificial intelligence and a historic pay increase.

As per Variety, the deal will see most minimums increase by 7 per cent — two per cent above the increases received by the Writers Guild of America and the Directors Guild of America.The deal also includes a "streaming participation bonus," according to an email sent to SAG-AFTRA members, as well as increases in pension and health contributions.

The union said the contract is worth more than $1 billion in total. "We have arrived at a contract that will enable SAG-AFTRA members from every category to build sustainable careers," the union said in the email. "Many thousands of performers now and into the future will benefit from this work." The union is expected to hold celebrations and gatherings around the country. Kevin E. West, a member of the committee, said there were "tears of exhilaration and joy" in the committee room after the contract was approved.

"The final vote was unanimous. That's a difficult thing to accomplish," West said, speaking outside union headquarters. "It's honestly been a really long two weeks." He said the final deal is "not perfect — nothing is," but that getting to this outcome was an "extraordinary" achievement.

The AMPTP issued a statement Wednesday saying that the contract "represents a new paradigm."

"The AMPTP is pleased to have reached a tentative agreement and looks forward to the industry resuming the work of telling great stories," the employer group said.