The Hessinger “Strike” Letter: “The Smoking Gun” that demonstrates why Phase One needs to be Phased Out, and SAG’s complete control over its contracts needs to be Phased In.
SAG leaders, in the know, say that if you want to see an overwrought demonstration of wailings, hand wringing and gnashing of teeth of biblical proportions simply suggest to the AFTRA leadership that when it comes to Phase One collective bargaining with our employers, their participation should be directly proportional to their stake in the contracts.
For instance, although their stake in both the Commercial and TV Theatrical Contracts does not exceed ten percent in either, they have a fifty percent say in the kind of contracts that we get.
Most SAG members see this as not only blatantly unfair and fiscally unwise but a circumvention of their rights to determine their destiny.
AFTRA leadership, however, continues to demand a fifty percent participation in negotiating although they only have a ten percent stake!
We are equal partners they protest, fifty/fifty.ah, that is except when it comes time to pay the piper. When that happens, all of a sudden they point to that TEN PERCENT STAKE THINGY!
Item: This letter from AFTRA National Executive Director, Gregg Hessinger to SAG Associate National Executive Director John McGuire following the 2000 strike.
Phase One has been in affect since 1981: it’s time to get out from under the thumb of this perversion of parity, and move on to Phase Two of the SAG/AFTRA relationship. A Phase where AFTRA’s poaching of SAG contracts ends! And their input, if any, in our collective bargaining agreements is based on, to paraphrase AFTRA’s Greg Hessinger, a fair and equitable, pro-rata, appropriate division of union participation.
Anything else will be a continuation of what can best be described a “Quid Pro Schmoo” relationship. And it don’t take a mental giant to ascertain which party of this deal, as it now stands, is the latter.
As actors, both SAG/AFTRA, slowly begin to realize what’s happening, and how it impacts them, they are thoroughly becoming pissed at AFTRA’s leadership– but it will only be a matter of time before that anger is diverted to those who allow this inequitable alliance to endure.
A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief
*All formatting is SW’s!
Below a photocopy of the actual document under discussion.