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SAG-AFTRA Taking Jurisdictional Dispute With Actors’ Equity to AFL-CIO

Leaders of SAG-AFTRA have escalated the union’s bitter jurisdictional battle with Actors’ Equity Affiliation, asking that the Related Actors and Artistes of America identify a mediator.

SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris and Nationwide Govt Director David White additionally requested AFL-CIO intervention in a letter to Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO.

“It’s with heavy hearts that we file a proper criticism and request for a mediator in our jurisdictional dispute,” Carteris and  White stated in a message to their members. “Allow us to be very clear: this can be a final resort. We tried negotiation, however Actors’ Equity Affiliation refused our waiver and walked away from talks with no discover.”

The 2 unions are locked in a dispute over which ought to cowl the streaming of dwell occasions. Every has blamed the opposite for the breakdown. Actors’ Equity, which represents 51,000 theater actors and stage managers, has accused SAG-AFTRA of raiding its turf and undercutting its contracts by negotiating lower-paying offers with theaters for streaming productions. SAG-AFTRA, which represents 160,000 performers in movie, TV and radio, is asserting that work made for broadcast is inside its jurisdiction.

White and Carteris stated within the letter to Trumka, “For the reason that battle has arisen on account of, or at the very least been enormously exacerbated by, the monetary strains positioned on AEA union members through the COVID-19 pandemic, SAG-AFTRA has made clear its willingness to grant waivers to AEA to permit it to carry out a lot of the work in dispute for a restricted time frame, and topic to varied jurisdictional acknowledgements. To the current date, at the very least, AEA has been unwilling to settle for what SAG-AFTRA had assumed could be completely logical and acceptable situations in change for these waivers.”

The letter additionally stated each SAG-AFTRA and AEA are members of the Related Actors and Artistes of America (also referred to as the 4As) and that SAG-AFTRA is invoking the 4As’ jurisdictional dispute decision procedures and famous that these are to be  carried out with the enter of the AFL-CIO’s Division of Skilled Workers.

“Consequently, we respectfully request that the AFL-CIO’s DPE help the events on this matter, together with, however not restricted to, facilitating the appointment of a mediator to pursue an settlement as to this matter,” Carteris and White stated. “Though SAG-AFTRA has determined to provoke dispute decision processes via the 4As, we stay keen and keen to use the providers of the AFL-CIO’s DPE to discover an amicable decision to the dispute if attainable.”

The dispute went public on Oct. 7, when Carteris and White delivered a message to members that their union was keen to provide a waiver so as to create extra work alternatives for AEA members — however that it should include an acknowledgment of SAG-AFTRA’s jurisdiction. The duo stated that Actors’ Equity has refused to compromise.

“We write to make you conscious of an rising situation between SAG-AFTRA and our sister union, Actors’ Equity Affiliation (AEA). As you already know, SAG-AFTRA’s jurisdiction could be very clear,” Carteris and White stated within the Oct. 7 letter. “We cowl recorded and broadcast media in all their types. Meaning films, tv, new media, commercials, radio, music and sound recordings, and digital content material, whether or not recorded or delivered dwell. In essence, all dwell media or recorded media falls underneath our historic and conventional jurisdiction.”

Mary McColl, government director of New York-based Actors’ Equity, went public on the similar time and accused SAG-AFTRA of utilizing the pandemic to declare jurisdiction in Equity workplaces. She asserted solid members usually are not paid as effectively and lose contributions towards Equity well being and pension advantages. McColl additionally stated stage managers — who usually are not coated by SAG-AFTRA — are excluded underneath such offers.

“Members have instructed us they had been provided contracts for as little as $125 per day,” she stated. “A number of stage mangers instructed us they’ve been excluded completely, had their contracts revoked or been provided work as impartial contractors and with out staff’ compensation protections.”

McColl estimated that round 60 productions this yr have signed with SAG-AFTRA, amounting to $600,000 in misplaced earnings and $154,000 in misplaced contributions to the well being fund.

SAG-AFTRA stated within the Oct 7. letter that it had for many years coated recorded or dwell broadcast displays together with Broadway exhibits (“Hamilton,” “Diana” and “Jesus Christ Celebrity”); televised particular occasions (the Tony Awards and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade); morning exhibits (“The In the present day Present” and “Stay with Kelly & Ryan”); and late evening exhibits (“The Tonight Present Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “The Late Present with Stephen Colbert” and “Jimmy Kimmel Stay!”).

Actors’ Equity was not instantly out there for remark Saturday.

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