Los Angeles, CA (May 11, 2005) –- This month, Screen Actors Guild (SAG) marks the third anniversary of Global Rule One, which ensures that Guild members enjoy SAG contract protections wherever they work in the world. Since its enactment by the SAG National Board in May 2002, the historic initiative has helped generate a remarkable increase in foreign theatrical and television productions shot under SAG terms and conditions, resulting in substantial member earnings and millions of dollars in union pension and health care contributions.
“Years ago, producers cautioned that it would be an impossible challenge for SAG to promulgate contracts internationally,” said SAG President Melissa Gilbert. “Not only have we proven them wrong, we have changed an entire business model. Today, professional actors think twice before accepting work abroad that is not under a SAG contract, and producers think hard about hiring professional actors to work abroad without the Guild’s provisions. Through this continuing display of unionism, SAG members have demonstrated unwavering support that has firmed up protections for working actors and provided our health and pension plans with a much-needed boost.”
SAG membership rules explicitly prohibit non-union work worldwide. Violating this fundamental rule not only subjects members to serious penalties, it also undermines the very foundation of the union by eroding leverage at the bargaining table. The solidarity of SAG members has been essential to the success of Rule One, which states: “no member shall work as a performer for any producer who has not executed a basic minimum agreement with the Guild which is in full force and effect.”
SAG derives its power from the willingness of each individual member to commit to the collective goal of protecting and enhancing the broader interests of current and future members. Every victory it has achieved on behalf of performers over the decades has come because it did not waiver in its commitment to members and their cause. This strength and unity is needed now, more than ever, as SAG members continue to win their fair share of growing markets.