September 29, 2008
J. Nicholas Counter III
Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers
President and CEO
The Walt Disney Company
We believe it is clear that our members would fail to ratify your proposal of June 30, 2008. It would serve no productive purpose, therefore, to send our membership a proposal that SAG’s National Negotiating Committee and National Board have rejected and that our membership would not ratify.
It is our fervent hope that this news will encourage you and your colleagues to reengage in formal bargaining, with the exchange of proposals and compromise by both sides necessary to reach an agreement.
Our discussions with you and many of your colleagues since formal talks ended have educated both of our teams about our respective priorities and flexibilities. As we have said to SAG members, if we can reach agreement on three threshold issues, we believe we can finish these negotiations. One issue you brought to the table: force majeure protection for actors held by contract to a suspended production. Two issues we have identified as core principles: coverage for all new media productions (including those below $15,000/minute) and residuals for made-for new media productions re-used on new media. Other issues divide us, certainly, but we believe those other issues can be successfully addressed once we have resolved these three threshold issues. We have approached these contract negotiations reasonably and with a realistic and informed view of the state of the industry.
We are prepared to meet formally and continuously until we reach agreement. We owe it to our constituencies and the thousands of others in this industry that depend on a productive, stable and uninterrupted relationship between Screen Actors Guild and the networks and studios.
The alternative to reaching an agreement as soon as possible is unnecessary and destructive uncertainty. If your intransigence continues, however, our choices become harder and fewer. We would prefer the more complicated and productive choices that compromise will make necessary. But we can’t make those choices that lead to agreement working alone.
What do you say; when can our committees meet face-to-face?
National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator