SAG-AFTRA Chief Fran Drescher Says Supporting WGA’s “Righteous” Strike Is “Crucial”, Urges Actors “To Be Fearless” As Their Contract Talks Approach
SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher has told her members that as the union prepares for its upcoming contract negotiations, which start June 7: “We must focus on modernizing our outdated and conservative contract. It is essential that we reshape our agreement to better reflect the new digital and streaming business model that is rapidly changing our industry.”
In a message posted today on the union’s website, she wrote: “There has never been a better time to be fearless and forward-thinking in our bargaining approach. This is a turning point for us all and what happens now will define our future.”
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Drescher, who is also a member of the Writers Guild and walked its picket line this week, wrote that “union solidarity is crucial. Unions gain strength by supporting each other and the WGA fight is a righteous one. We are united in support of the WGA and I thank all of the SAG-AFTRA members who are showing solidarity with their strike. For those who haven’t yet been able to do so, I hope you will join me and others in supporting the writers on a picket line.
“As a member of the WGA, I can say firsthand the contributions made by writers cannot be undermined, diminished or cheapened. I’ve said it a thousand times, ‘If it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage!’”
Here she is on the WGA picket line at Paramount Studios earlier this week:
We are standing strong with WGA. 💪 SAG-AFTRA President @frandrescher is #WGAstrong in #solidarity! #1u pic.twitter.com/vlbZs5NxqS
— SAG-AFTRA (@sagaftra) May 12, 2023
Turning to SAG-AFTRA’s preparations for its upcoming negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, she wrote:
“Even while we are showing strong public support to our sister union, we are privately finalizing and preparing for our own negotiations. Let me unpack that process briefly so you can feel confident that no stone has been left unturned.
“Wages and working conditions meetings across the nation went on for weeks, after which each local presented their top member concerns. Over an unprecedented seven days, the Wages and Working Conditions Plenary Committee vetted every single submission. We called in member experts to speak on issues impacting every member category.
“It was important to us all that we had a complete understanding of the wants and needs of all the members, each of whom will be profoundly impacted by the outcome of this negotiation. Our National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland and Chief Contracts Officer Ray Rodriguez were right there throughout the plenary helping determine our approach to these negotiations which will be life-changing for our members.
“We are fortunate to have this collaborative and brilliant team adapting our wants and needs into a tight, innovative and aggressive negotiating package.”
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