With the financial markets in crisis it's easy to forget that the Screen Actors guild has been working without a contract since their deal with the AMPTP, the producers association, expired this summer.
After the lack of progress between these two organizations yielded a defacto work stoppage of sorts, this fall the movie studios really got back to work. Now it seems negotiations are in the works again. On Thursday the AMPTP agreed to meet with a federal mediator to help work out an agreement and end the stalemate. This follows SAG voting on Sunday to bring in a mediator.
The AMPTP is willing to sit down with the mediator, but released a statement making it clear they're not going to fold. "We are, of course, willing to meet with a federal mediator in the hopes of achieving our fifth guild agreement this year. But we are also realistic: It will be very difficult to reach an agreement if SAG continues to insist unreasonably that it deserves a better deal than the ones achieved by other entertainment guilds during far better economic times."
That's right, AMPTP is bringing it back to the economy, trying to remind actors and all of Hollywood that no one wants to be out of work right now. If the mediator fails, SAG's negotiating committee will ask the membership for strike authorization. We'll be watching.
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