Tuesday, July 1, 2008

AMPTP begins lockout - TV production to end

The media conglomerates began a lockout of all workers as its final offer to SAG hit the table.

The Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers (AMPTP) handed the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) their 42-page "last, best and final offer" yesterday.

"In short, our final offer to SAG represents a final hope for avoiding further work stoppages and getting everyone back to work,' said AMPTP in its news release.

Trying to term an industry-wide lockout as something other than what it is, the statement says: "Our industry is now in a de facto strike, with film production virtually shut down and television production now seriously threatened."

The release continues its spin: "If our industry shuts down because of the unwillingness of SAG’s Hollywood leadership to make a deal, SAG members will lose $2.5 million each and every day in wages. The other guilds and unions would lose $13.5 million each day in wages, and the California economy will be harmed at the rate of $23 million each and every day."

In its release, AMPTP argues that its offer is "a comprehensive proposal worth more than $250 million in additional compensation to SAG members, with significant economic gains and groundbreaking new media rights for all performers. In addition, our offer addresses issues that SAG identified as being of utmost concern to its members, including tailoring our new media framework for SAG in areas such as feature films and significant gains for working actors."

SAG's chief negotiator and national executive director Doug Allen said: "This offer does not appear to address some key issues important to actors. For example, the impact of forgoing residuals for all made-for-new-media productions is incalculable and would mean the beginning of the end of residuals."

But SAG leadership has taken no steps to get the 75% vote of its membership for a strike.

It's curious. Wikipeida notes: "A lockout is a work stoppage in which an employer prevents employees from working. This is different from a strike, in which employees refuse to work."

It's odd that none of the reports of the last and final offer mention a lockout for what it is but quote the AMPTP news release. Oh, that's right, the folks at AMPTP are big media.

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