A-list Actors Oppose Actors Union Strike Vote
First Published: December 16, 2008 10:21 AM EST Credit: FilmMagic
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Delivering a rebuke to the leadership of the Screen Actors Guild, more than 130 actors signed a letter urging their colleagues to reject a strike-authorization vote in January.
“We don’t think that an authorization can be looked at as merely a bargaining tool,” said the letter, signed by “Desperate Housewives” actress Eva Longoria Parker, “Spider-Man” star Tobey Maguire, and others. “It must be looked at as what it is — an agreement to strike if negotiations fail.”
“We do not believe in all good conscience that now is the time to be putting people out of work,” it said.
Other signatories included Tom Hanks, Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Cameron Diaz, Heather Graham and Edward Norton.
The letter, sent to guild board members and staff, is the latest sign of unhappiness with the leadership of the 120,000-strong union.
On Friday, the New York representatives on the guild’s board demanded a halt to the strike vote and called for an emergency meeting to replace the negotiating committee.
Guild President Alan Rosenberg planned an emergency meeting for Friday in Los Angeles, but rescinded it after New York members complained about the short notice to travel. A new meeting has not been scheduled.
The guild wants terms that are better than the deals accepted by directors, writers, stagehands and another actors union earlier in the year.
It is seeking union coverage for all Internet-only productions regardless of budget, residual payments for Internet productions replayed in ad-supported platforms online, and continued actor benefits during work stoppages, including those caused by strikes by other unions.
The studios have said it is unreasonable for the guild to demand better terms, especially now that the economy has worsened.
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