SAG-AFTRA Members Overwhelmingly Approve Labor Deal with Studios

SAG-AFTRA members approve labor deal with Hollywood studios

The film and television actors’ union, representing thousands of members, officially approved its new three-year contract with Hollywood studios on Tuesday night following a nearly four-month strike that significantly impacted the industry. However, the union disclosed that less than 40% of its members participated in the vote.

The extensive entertainment union initiated a 118-day strike in July after the expiration of its previous agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. A tentative deal was reached last month.

Out of the members who participated in the vote (38.15% of the total membership), 78.33% voted in favor of ratifying the contract, while 21.67% opposed it, according to SAG-AFTRA.

Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland stated in a release, “By ratifying this contract, members have made it clear that they’re eager to use their unity to lay the groundwork for a better industry, improving the lives of those working in their profession.”

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Shortly after the vote, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers congratulated SAG-AFTRA on the contract ratification, noting that it represents historic gains and protections for performers. The union mentioned that the new deal includes over $1 billion in new compensation and benefit plan funding, along with changes to the residuals formulas, particularly for streaming performers.

The revamped contract introduces a bonus in addition to existing residual structures and increased pay for principal and background actors. Notably, it also addresses concerns surrounding artificial intelligence, establishing informed consent and compensation guidelines for studios using the controversial technology.

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“I’m proud of our SAG-AFTRA membership,” said President Fran Drescher. “They struck for 118 days to grant the TV/Theatrical Negotiating Committee the necessary leverage to secure over $1 billion in gains, along with the union’s first-ever protections around AI technology. Now they’ve locked in the gains by ratifying the contract.”

In September, Hollywood writers, who had their own four-and-a-half-month strike, reached a new three-year deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. This marked the first time since 1960 that the two unions, the Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild, were on strike simultaneously.

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