SAG Board Approves Studio Deal

Digital Media Law

Voting on party lines, a sharply divided SAG board approved the tentative deal with the studios yesterday by a vote of about 53% to 47%. The balloting material will be accompanied by both pro and con statements, and the fight over the deal will be a prelude to SAG’s presidential and board elections, which will commence in July and run through September. On a personal note, I had a surreal experience outside yesterday’s board meeting.

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SAG Board Re-Do Successful

Digital Media Law

The SAG Board met yesterday and re-affirmed actions already taken in writing two weeks earlier: the ouster of former National Executive Director Doug Allen and the replacement of the negotiating team. The Board’s vote would appear to render moot a lawsuit filed last week by SAG president Alan Rosenberg. The change results from two Membership First board members, Angela Watson and Keith Carradine, breaking ranks and voting with the SAG moderates.

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Trending Sources

Trickle Down Innovation Alert: Mr. Pandora the secret union buster

Music Technology Policy

Hidden in the deceptively named “Internet Radio Freedom Act” is one of the most insidious anti-union provisions we’ve seen in many years. You should also read the excellent reporting by Glenn Peoples “ The Truth About Pandora’s Payments to Artists ” where Glenn takes apart the latest heaping serving of bunk from the 1% in Pandora’s board room.). Enter Pandora the Union Buster.

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How MGM's 'Ben-Hur' Evolved Into a Pending Fight Before the National Labor Relations Board

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Are MGM and Paramount Pictures union-busting? Is the American Federation of Musicians tampering with witnesses in a lawsuit over wages and benefits? A labor dispute escalates. read more. THR, Esq. Business Movies Music Business THR Online Labor

SAG: Four Hardline Horsemen in the National Board Room

Digital Media Law

Yet, strangely enough, the leaders of the losing hardline faction will all find seats on the national board, and will continue to be a shadow government within the union’s Hollywood board—a board on which, in contrast, none of the key moderate leaders will be voting members. The moderates seemingly have 27 seats on the Hollywood board out of 55 (because 27 = 6 seats pre-election plus 21 additional seats won in the election).

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Where Was the Board? Some Thoughts on Potential Legal Issues in Pledge Music “Administration” Bankruptcy–Artist Rights Watch

Music Technology Policy

So far the only artist rights groups to jump in on the Pledge situation are UK Music and the UK Musicians Union. I know the Musicians Union has been monitoring the Pledge situation for quite a while to their everlasting credit. [This post first appeared on Artist Rights Watch ].

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Three Membership First Candidates Elected to AFTRA Boards

Digital Media Law

Many candidates were reelected, but new winners include two Membership First leaders—SAG 1 st VP Anne-Marie Johnson (AFTRA national board) and former SAG Hollywood Board member David Jolliffe (AFTRA Los Angeles local board)—as well as Membership First member Alan Ruck (AFTRA national board). I believe they join several MF stalwarts already on one or the other AFTRA boards. Johnson and Jolliffe bring a particularly interesting dynamic to the AFTRA boards.

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AFTRA Board Approves Joint Bargaining With SAG

Digital Media Law

At a videoconference meeting today in New York and LA, AFTRA’s national board unanimously voted to approve joint bargaining with SAG for the Primetime Television Contract and the SAG TV/theatrical contract. The move comes a month after SAG’s national board voted, by a tally of 82% to 18%, to “seek engagement with AFTRA in a joint bargaining agreement for negotiation of the Television/Theatrical Contract.” 31, 2009, the union has collected more than $6.6

Will the Supreme Court Deal Public-Sector Unionism a Death Blow? | The Nation

Communications And Entertainment Law Blog

AFSCME, and perhaps decide how public-worker unions operate for generations to come. The central question in Janus—concerning fees paid by workers represented by a public-sector union—isn’t new. Detroit Board of Education.

When Police Unions Impede Justice - The New York Times

Communications And Entertainment Law Blog

"Across the country, municipal governments have signed contracts with police unions including provisions that shield officers from punishment for brutal behavior as well as from legitimate complaints by the citizens they are supposed to serve.

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Mr. “Don’t Be Evil” has a new one: YCombinator Says “Kill Hollywood” Starting with the Unions

Music Technology Policy

A post on the YCombinator message board may yield an answer: “Paul Buchheit deserves all the credit for this idea. What we really need to “kill” are the two institutions that have protected artists for 100 years: talent agents and unions. Especially unions.

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These Cities Aren’t Waiting for the Supreme Court to Decide Whether or Not to Gut Unions | The Nation

Communications And Entertainment Law Blog

AFSCME, which takes direct aim at the heart of public-sector unions, could make it much harder for working people to organize for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. That’s not just bad news for unions. Labor unions created the American middle class.

SAG Board Approves Contract

Thompson On Hollywood

The Screen Actors Guild national board narrowly approved a tentative new two-year feature-primetime contract with the AMPTP Sunday. The board passed the below motion shortly after 4:00 p.m. On behalf of the National Board, I thank them for their time, commitment and expertise.”

CNN Ordered to Rehire Over 100 Union Techs, Compensate Many More

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

The National Labor Relations Board order in a decade-long case comes at a difficult time for the network read more. Turner Broadcasting System The Business Time Warner THR Online THR, Esq. Television Labor Business CNN

SAG: What Might Happen at Next Week's Board Meeting

Digital Media Law

The SAG National Board is meeting next Monday and Tuesday, Jan. Those include the studios’ rollback of force majeure protection; imposition of the possibility of “French hours” (meals become catch-as-catch-can, rather than there being a designated meal break); the dilution of “union security” in new media (I’ll explain that in a moment); lack of any compromise on product integration; and perhaps other issues on SAG’s list of outstanding issues.

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The Future for Television or Google Wants to Burn Your Remote: More Google Union-Busting

Music Technology Policy

Google Backed Net Coalition’s Anti-Union Dirty Tricks Campaign. Google’s Attack on Unions Means the United Message is Working. As you will see it clearly refers to a “host of union thugs” who had the temerity to oppose Net Coalition backer Google and other giant consumer electronics companies. Who is in the “host of union thugs”? Why Does Google Hate the Unions? Say Goodbye to Your Union Benefits.

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AFTRA Investigation Finds No Misconduct by Board Member Over SAGWatch Site

Digital Media Law

The union's outside counsel determines that David Browde did not violate non-disparagement or confidentiality rules and is not an owner or editor of the site. Details: The Hollywood Reporter. Watch for my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” due out next month. Subscribe to my blog ( jhandel.com ) for more about entertainment law and digital media law. Check out my residuals chart there too. Go to the blog itself to subscribe via RSS or email.

Basic Cable Clarification & Details

Digital Media Law

As part of the Basic Cable Live Action agenda item, the SAG National Board voted to explore the possibility of coordinated bargaining with AFTRA in the area of live action basic cable programming. That comment points out a difference in philosophy between the two unions, at least to date. The difference in philosophy is this: AFTRA believes that these OPO deals are the best opportunity to prevent shows from going non-union or being produced in Canada.

Silly Lawsuit Against SAG Dismissed; and More

Digital Media Law

Remember the lawsuit that former SAG president Alan Rosenberg and three other Membership First members (1st VP Anne-Marie Johnson and board members Diane Ladd and Kent McCord) filed against their own union? None of the other guild/union books do, and the WGA has even moved away from the small format books to a large size that’s more manageable. It turns out even unions sometimes have unions. The president is not up, but 1/3 of the board is.

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SAG Moderates Win Presidency, Secr. + Additional 4 Natl Seats

Digital Media Law

In a victory for the SAG moderate coalition (Unite for Strength / USAN / independents), the UFS candidates for president, Ken Howard, and secretary, Amy Aquino, won the union's national offices. So the union is still very divided, and Howard acknowledged that the results were not a landslide and that the union is very divided, while saying that he planned to reach out to MF supporters. Screen Actors Guild also announced election results for the National Board of Directors.

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SAG National Executive Director Firing – How it Went Down

Digital Media Law

The SAG board’s moderate majority fired National Executive Director Doug Allen today by using a document signed by board members and called a “written assent.” Monday morning, a group of board members went to SAG’s LA headquarters. The group included Unite for Strength leader Ned Vaughn, NY board member Sam Freed, board members Ken Howard, Pamela Reed, Stacey Travis, Gabrielle Carteris and two others whose names I don’t know.

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ACLU Video: Would You Ask This Man for His Papers? | Immigrant Rights | Change.org

Communications And Entertainment Law Blog

Well, the American Civil Liberties Union has something to say about that. citizen and the president of the Board of Directors the ACLU of Arizona. ACLU Video: Would You Ask This Man for His Papers?

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SAG & Studios Agree to Tentative Deal

Digital Media Law

The deal will probably be approved by the SAG board today or tomorrow and ratified by the membership by mid-May, but the hardline MembershipFirst faction has vowed to fight the deal, so ratification, although likely, is not assured. In separate news today, the SAG and AFTRA boards meeting jointly approved the commercials contract reached April 1 with the advertising industry. Ratification ballots will go out to the members of both unions next week, with a return date in mid-May.

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One More Federal Notice to be Posted on Your Employee Bulletin Board - NLRB's New Requirement

Broadcast Law Blog

Broadcasters, along with virtually every other business, are supposed to have a bulletin board someplace in their place of business, accessible to employees, where all sorts of notices, many required by Federal law, are posted. The requirement covers employers who are unionized at the present time, as well as those that don't.

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SAG Hardliners: The Trojan Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Digital Media Law

To the same end, various MF-ers, including some who supported the motion, are running in the now-in-progress AFTRA board elections, the better to dismantle AFTRA from within. Tags: strike Labor Unions AFTRA Membership First SAG SAG’s Hollywood branch, dominated by the hardline Membership First faction, has passed a motion forming a task force to explore “acquisition of actors of AFTRA,” reports SAGWatch.

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SAG Rejects Studio Offer; Back to Stalemate

Digital Media Law

By a vote of 73% to 27%, the Screen Actors Guild board of directors voted Saturday to reject the studios’ most recent offer, which the studio alliance, the AMPTP, had delivered two days earlier. Nor, however, does the rejection mean that there will be a strike, since the union has not (as yet, at least) sent a strike authorization vote to the membership. That synchronicity, with its threat of a possible joint strike, would give the unions negotiating leverage in 2011.

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SAG Presidential Candidate: I'll Seek Strike Authorization Next Year if Elected

Digital Media Law

She denied that, but said that union members would feel the impact of new media defects in the existing contract before the negotiations next fall, and added that she thought at least 75% of the board will support a strike authorization. In an email interview with me, Ned Vaughn, spokesman and board candidate on the moderate Unite for Strength slate, responded as follows: How we address a strike authorization depends on what we see headed into the negotiations.

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SAG: Opposition Grows to Strike Authorization

Digital Media Law

Also today, members of the NY SAG Board began what Back Stage’s blog describes as a “regional uprising,” releasing a letter opposing a strike authorization. UPDATE: In response to the NY Board members' letter, SAG President Alan Rosenberg will be calling an emergency national board meeting, “for the purpose of discussing the ramifications of this extraordinarily destructive and subversive action of the New York Board,” according to a SAG statement.

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SAG: When Will There be a Deal?

Digital Media Law

Lately, we’ve been lost in a morass of letters from SAG board members, stars and activists … wandering through a thicket of politics … reading the offer from the AMPTP (studios)… observing meetings in LA , NY and LA again … taking note of other developments … enjoying press releases … trying to parse the issues … and wondering if SAG will strike. The national board then meets the next day. Then the new board would probably have to meet before things restart.

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Lawsuit Blocks SAG Negotiations

Digital Media Law

A lawsuit to be filed this morning by Screen Actors Guild president Alan Rosenberg against his own union has blocked scheduled negotiations between the Guild and the studio alliance, or AMPTP. Rosenberg , notably, threatened two weeks ago to lead a “ fucking civil war ” in the union if Allen were fired. The self-pitying Rosenberg of a few days ago is gone, replaced by the more-familiar hardliner who seems ready to burn the union down in order to save it.

Screen Actors Guild President Calls Actors “Frightened Little Children”

Digital Media Law

In an extraordinary interview with The Wrap , SAG President Alan Rosenberg said that “actors are frightened little children,” and referred to his opponents—a majority of the SAG board—as “liars and manipulators.” The song is cast in the voice of an ungrateful union member: “I don’t care about nobody. Describing Allen in the interview as “extraordinary” and “the best thing that’s ever happened to our union,” Rosenberg adds “Here I am—my partner was fired.

SAG Executive Director: TV/Theatrical Deal Will Pass

Digital Media Law

White’s confidence in the possibility of future upgrades led me to pose a question actors ask from time to time: do the studios want to break the union? His answer turned on the intermittent nature of entertainment employment: “Employers have a natural incentive to want weaker bargaining partners, but employers also understand that if unions didn’t exist they’d have to invent them. Unions are the glue,” White added, that allows actors to receive compensation between gigs (i.e.,

SAG Strike Authorization Ballots Delayed

Digital Media Law

This development was revealed less than two hours ago in an email from SAG National Executive Director Doug Allen to all SAG members, which also stated that an in-person SAG National Board meeting is now set for January 12-13 (all day the 12 th and part of the day the 13 th ). Re the ballots, the letter said that they would go out “immediately following this special board meeting,” which would appear to mean January 14th at the earliest.

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SAG Files Motion to Dismiss Rosenberg Appeal

Digital Media Law

As you'll recall, several months ago, SAG president Alan Rosenberg and three other hardliners (1st VP Anne-Marie Johnson and board members Diane Ladd and Kent McCord) sued their own union, seeking to enjoin negotiations and reverse personnel and procedural changes that they correctly anticipated would pave the way for a deal on terms the hardliners are pledged to oppose. So, SAG's legal fees will continue to mount, courtesy of the union's own president and 1st VP.

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Rosenberg v. SAG: Court of Appeal Implies Appeal May be Moot

Digital Media Law

Alan Rosenberg is no longer president of SAG, nor even a national board member, but his lawsuit against his own union drags on pointlessly. Tags: Labor Unions Membership First SAG Believe it or not, he’s still trying to undo Doug Allen’s firing, the appointment of David White, the ratification of the TV/theatrical contract and, no doubt, the discovery of a new ring around Saturn. That last is probably a particularly bitter blow for the ex-president.

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Rosenberg v. SAG Lawsuit Reply Brief Filed

Digital Media Law

SAG president Alan Rosenberg and three other Membership First hardliners (1st VP Anne-Marie Johnson and board members Diane Ladd and Kent McCord) filed their reply brief earlier this week. Tags: Labor Unions Membership First SAG The appeal grinds on. I'm told there will be oral argument (unscheduled as yet).

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NAB Radio Board Adopts Proposal for Settlement of Performance Tax Issue - Where Do We Go From Here?

Broadcast Law Blog

The NAB Radio Board today voted to adopt a Terms Sheet to offer to the musicFirst Coalition which, if agreed to by musicFirst and adopted by Congress, will settle the contentious issue of whether to impose a sound recording performance royalty (the "performance tax") on over-the-air broadcasters.

SAG’s Strange Voyage

Digital Media Law

Last week, SAG’s Hollywood board, controlled by the hardline Membership First faction, passed a resolution establishing a task force “to explore the acquisition of actors of AFTRA.” That appears to violate an agreement between the two unions that prohibits disparagement and raiding. Rejection will plunge the union and the AMPTP—the alliance that represents studios and producers—back into stalemate, once again adrift in uncharted nebulas. Where did the Screen Actors Guild go?

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SAG TV/Theatrical Contract Ratified Overwhelmingly, 78%-22%

Digital Media Law

It's an amazing end to an almost 12 month stalemate, and calls into question the faction's ability to make any headway in the upcoming SAG board elections. Tomorrow morning I will be contacting the elected leadership of the other talent unions with the hope of beginning a series of pre-negotiation summit meetings in preparation for 2011. Sue-Anne Morrow, actor, National Board Member representing New York "This is a good deal with good gains.

SAG Stalemate Update

Digital Media Law

The SAG Board is meeting this weekend, and Variety suggests a proposed TV/theatrical deal might be presented to the Board then. What is known is that the SAG and AFTRA boards will spend part of the weekend meeting jointly to review the proposed commercials contract , a deal reached earlier this month between the two unions and the ad industry. All National Board candidates qualified for the ballot by Nominating Petition.

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SAG No News Press Release

Digital Media Law

Here's the release: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE SCREEN ACTORS GUILD STATEMENT REGARDING NATIONAL BOARD ACTIONS OF JANUARY 26, 2009 Los Angeles (January 26, 2009) -- The Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors by written assent today terminated the employment of Doug Allen and appointed former Guild general counsel David White to replace him as interim national executive director. The board further appointed longtime Guild senior advisor John T.

Actors Commercials Negotiations Deteriorate

Digital Media Law

Now, after industry statements that the negotiations had been going reasonably well, the talks seem to have hit a snag, and the unions may seek a strike authorization vote from their members, reports The Wrap. The report goes on to say that the unions have already written—and someone has leaked—a draft letter to be sent to the membership of both unions seeking a strike authorization. The result is less leverage at the bargaining table for the unions, and more for the JPC.

SAG Moderates File Document to Fire National Executive Director

Digital Media Law

As expected, the moderates on the SAG National Board today delivered a document to SAG headquarters that ousts Doug Allen as National Executive Director and dissolves the negotiating committee. The document, called a written assent, is signed by a majority of SAG’s national board (including Unite for Strength board members and most or all others who are not part of Membership First), as provided for in SAG’s constitution. Tags: SAG Labor Unions strike

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