A LETTER FROM 3rd NATIONAL VICE PRESIDENT STEVE FRIED
Dear Regional Branch Division Membership:
Despite the overwhelming recommendation of the Joint SAG/AFTRA National Board, a group of Hollywood Division board members, including their Division vice president, has recommended defeat of the referendum regarding the TV/Theatrical Contract.
This is the wrong action. The overall gains now on the table benefit the vast majority of Guild working members-which means YOU. That's why I'm writing all regional branch members today. It is essential that you vote. It is essential you vote YES. And it is essential you get your friends in other Divisions-meaning Hollywood and New York-to vote YES as well.
Touting "no residual increases for DVD/home video," the group in Hollywood fails to point out that earnings will increase over the contract period! They also fail to mention that their desired change is NOT retroactive and that it will take (under their scenario) 45 years to reach the levels claimed. They have twisted innovative concepts to deal with changing industry trends as "rollbacks," which "ain't" true! They misrepresent the percentage of increase gained during the term of the contract and distort the impact of the 90-day start of the increase!
Our current contract does expire on July 1, 2005; however, because of the favorable terms for the vast majority of our 120,000 members, it is good business sense to approve the referendum based on the favorable-to-membership deal points gained. The industry signaled that change now to the DVD formula is a "non-starter," as exemplified by the outcome of negotiations with our sister unions. One can only wonder whether the Hollywood Division allegation by some of its board members "that SAG senior staff and lead negotiators provided very little information and supporting statistical data to assist us in our decision-making process" was really that the information provided did not support their contentions!
Ultimately, the decision is yours. It is true that a "No" vote isn't a strike vote; HOWEVER, a "No" vote sends the negotiating team back to the bargaining table-and negotiations then start anew. All gains are OFF THE TABLE! Are you willing to return to the bargaining table and risk a lesser contract offer? That is a guaranteed result of rejection and return to the bargaining table! And then what? Do you really want a work stoppage? I think not; so vote YES!
Please vote YES! Sending us back to the negotiating table jeopardizes the gains made in this negotiation.
3rd national vice president
Regional Branch Division
TV/THEATRICAL CONTRACT BALLOTS DUE FEBRUARY 28
Ballots were mailed to all SAG and AFTRA eligible voters on February 7. Remember, filled-out ballots must be returned via mail and received at the assigned post office box in Everett, WA no later than 5 p.m. (PST) Monday, February 28, 2005. Additionally, informational meetings will be held in select cities across the country in the coming weeks.