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SAG-AFTRA members easily ratify new contract after actors' strike

Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Business News

LOS ANGELES — Members of performers union SAG-AFTRA have voted in favor of the contract that ended the actors' strike, following a weeks-long ratification period that saw a number of actors voice concerns about the new deal.

The ratification vote, which was expected, marks the end of Hollywood's extraordinary season of labor discontent that caused widespread disruptions across the film and TV industry.

The so-called memorandum of agreement was approved Tuesday night by a vote of 78.33% to 21.67%. Voter turnout among the union's 160,000 members was 38.15%, according to the guild.

"Today we close out one of the most important chapters in recent entertainment industry history," the union said in a statement posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The verdict from membership was decisive, marking the second-highest margin of approval since the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists merged in 2012. For context, 74% of voters approved the guild's TV/Theatrical contract in 2020; 76% voted in favor in 2017; and 92% voted "yes" in 2014.

The document was first recommended by SAG-AFTRA's negotiating committee and national board of directors after the union and the alliance representing the major Hollywood studios reached a tentative settlement in early November, ending the 118-day walkout.

 

"The AMPTP member companies congratulate SAG-AFTRA on the ratification of its new contract, which represents historic gains and protections for performers," the alliance said in a statement. "With this vote, the industry and the jobs it supports will be able to return in full force."

SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland said he was "thrilled" to see the deal pass, noting that he was "particularly pleased" that nearly 40% of members cast their ballots — the highest level of participation in a contract-ratification vote in SAG-AFTRA history.

"This is a deal that I really believe in, and I'm so happy to see that the vast majority of SAG-AFTRA members also believe in it," Crabtree-Ireland told The Times. "We have a robust democracy. The members had a very strong debate over the last few weeks about this deal, and I think it's clear that our members took the time to educate themselves and really understand what the issues are."

"That's not to say that this deal gives us everything we ever need," he added. "It is one step in a process of collective bargaining that's been going on since 1937 and will continue to go on into the future."

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