Theatre Producers make historic vote to form L.A. League

Gordon P. Firemark

Theatre Producers make historic vote to form L.A. Chief among the challenges addressed are those surrounding union contracts and complying with the rules under the 99-seat (waiver) plan. Unanimous Vote. League. On Sunday, May 20, 2012 a little bit of L.A.

WGA Institutes Qualified Voting

Digital Media Law

The WGA membership has approved new rules limiting members’ eligibility to vote on strike authorization and ratification of the feature-primetime contract: members now have to have earnings of $30,000 under a WGA agreement during the six years preceding the vote or 15 or more qualified years as a pension plan participant, Variety reports.

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Trending Sources

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.

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.

Ted Cruz Demands Takedown of PAC Ad Attacking His Voting Record – Issues that Broadcast Stations Need to Consider When Threatened by Candidate Wanting an Ad Pulled

Broadcast Law Blog

According to Politico , Ted Cruz’ campaign has demanded that TV stations pull certain PAC ads which he claims distort his voting record on immigration issues. Third party ads, however, are different.Because only candidate ads are covered by the no censorship provision of the Act, ads by third party groups – PACs, labor unions, advocacy groups, political parties (with the limited exception of when the party ad is actually authorized by the candidate), etc. –

Dem Rep. Ellison: Obama should be ‘firmer’ on voting rights - The Hill's Video

Communications And Entertainment Law Blog

on Wednesday called on President Obama to be “firmer and clearer” in pushing Congress to reform a portion of the Voting Rights Act struck down by the Supreme Court in a landmark ruling. “I I think the president really cares about voting rights, he made it clear in the State of the Union speech how much he cared, he talked about the need to protect the right to vote and I think he’s been pretty consistent,” Ellison said. Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison (Minn.)

AFTRA Moves Closer to Merger With SAG

Digital Media Law

For the first time, the union’s national board votes on the current merger attempt, passing a key resolution “overwhelmingly”; the measure includes a statement that AFTRA leadership is “encouraged by the renewed interest expressed by SAG’s current leadership.”.

Teamsters, studios fail to break stalemate

Digital Media Law

The union meets in Burbank early Sunday morning, where the leadership is expected to seek – and obtain – a strike authorization vote from members. That authorization would, in turn, allow union leaders to call a strike at any time after the July 31 expiration of their contract with the studios and producers. Tags: Teamsters strike Labor Unions

WGA Sends Studio Deal to Members

Digital Media Law

The ratification vote will take place in April, before the existing contract's May 1 expiration. The subject is "The Past, Present and Future of Hollywood Unions." Details: The Hollywood Reporter. On a separate note, I will be speaking at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles on April 12 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the school's "A Conversation With" series. I'll also be discussing my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” available on Amazon (also in a Kindle edition).

SAG and the Studios: Post-Prandial Posturing

Digital Media Law

If the union achieves a yes vote of 75% (or more) of those voting, it will have the strike authorization it seeks, and the national board is likely to then vote to go on strike. They (like the hardline Membership First) voted for the October board resolution that brought us to this juncture. If they publicly oppose a strike authorization, then MF will tar them as Benedict Arnolds who hamstrung their own union’s attempt to fight the AMPTP.

Teamsters Ratify Contract; Strike Averted

Digital Media Law

The membership then voted 97.3% Tags: Teamsters strike Labor Unions In a surprising development, Hollywood Teamsters leaders at a standing room only membership meeting this morning asked the membership to ratify a 2 year contract proposed by the studios. to 2.7% to ratify, ending the possibility of a strike that could have shuttered much film and television production.

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. Thus, the offer will not be sent out to the membership for a ratification vote. 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.

SAG Moderates Win NY & Everywhere Else

Digital Media Law

According to unofficial sources, and as SAGWatch is reporting, SAG moderates have won every open NY Board seat that was up (giving them a pickup of one vote, apparently), and all the regional seats that were up as well. hrs also, but the NY and RBD (regional) results don't bode well for MF, especially since two hardline presidential candidates (Anne-Marie Johnson and Seymour Cassel) are splitting the hardline vote.

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.

Report from SAG Town Hall Meeting

Digital Media Law

SAG handed out an information sheet that presented the union’s point of view on what a Yes or a No vote on authorization means, and that listed outstanding negotiation issues. Those were, in order, as follows: Union Contract Coverage in New Media (i.e., Tags: SAG Labor Unions strike I visited the SAG Town Hall meeting in LA tonight. Here are some key takeaways: About 450-500 people attended, a capacity crowd at the venue (Harmony Gold theater).

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? The extension goes out for a vote in a few weeks to membership meetings in the five major AFTRA Locals of Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington/Baltimore. It turns out even unions sometimes have unions.

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

Digital Media Law

Significantly, even in the faction's stronghold, the Hollywood division, the vote was an enormous 71% to 29% in favor, or almost 3 to 1. There was a large turnout—35% of eligible members voted, far above the typical 20%-25%. Given the membership's overwhelming rejection of his vote No position, that may be an uphill climb, especially if the moderates/independents put forward a high-profile candidate, such as James Cromwell, who has been rumored to be considering a run.

SAG: When Will There be a Deal?

Digital Media Law

If the authorization fails, SAG President Alan Rosenberg has told me that the union will have to accept the offer on the table. The Union Might Attempt to Negotiate Given how adamant the SAG control group is (key members of Membership First plus National Executive Director Doug Allen), I’m guessing they would go back to the studios, take new media and DVD off the table if they are truly committed to making a deal, and try to make a few improvements to the deal.

SAG-AFTRA Ratify Advertising Agreement; SAG Townhall Features Fireworks

Digital Media Law

SAG and AFTRA announced yesterday that their combined paid-up membership, about 132,000 members, overwhelmingly ratified the contracts between the unions and the advertising industry. Of those voting, about 94% voted yes. According to Vaughn, Rosenberg was asked at the meeting what he proposed the union do if it voted down the deal. Rosenberg apparently replied that the union should get a strike authorization and then, if necessary, strike.

SAG-AFTRA Commercials Update

Digital Media Law

The unions retain the option of seeking a strike authorization, the source added, but are not planning to do so as yet, given the incremental progress being made. Most SAG-AFTRA decisions are being made by consensus, with little need to vote, and with disagreements being debated forcefully but respectfully. Tags: advertising SAG Labor Unions JPC Commercials AFTRA strike

SAG & Studios Agree to Tentative Deal

Digital Media Law

Ratification ballots will go out to the members of both unions next week, with a return date in mid-May. Back to the tentative TV/theatrical deal: Critically, this deal would expire on June 30, 2011, effectively synchronizing it with the Writers Guild, Directors Guild and AFTRA (smaller actors union) deals. This synchronicity should give the unions significant leverage, which raises the question of why the studios agreed to it.

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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. Tags: Labor Unions Unite for Strength Membership First SAG

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%. Current SAG president Alan Rosenberg has come out in opposition to the deal, while Ned Vaughn, leader of the moderate Unite for Strength group, told Variety that he favored a yes vote. The term of the agreement puts SAG in sync with the other unions, and does not include the extended term recently proposed by the AMPTP.”

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 unions want to change that. As under the union proposal?

SAG Strike Authorization Ballots Delayed

Digital Media Law

Here are the emails, Doug Allen’s and the Alan Rosenberg’s: ————————— Dear Screen Actors Guild Member, A number of National Board members have expressed concern about the organized opposition to SAG's vote "yes" campaign to encourage members to authorize the National Board to determine whether to call a strike in the TV/Theatrical contracts. Our hearts go out to our union brothers and sisters who have lost heir jobs, and to the thousands of United Auto Workers facing uncertain futures.

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. It would seemingly take peeling off one more vote from MF for the moderates to control the Hollywood board. Tags: Labor Unions USAN Unite for Strength Membership First SAG

SAG Executive Director: TV/Theatrical Deal Will Pass

Digital Media Law

The votes are due back June 9. 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. Should the two unions merge?

Screen Actors Guild President Calls Actors “Frightened Little Children”

Digital Media Law

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. I feel isolated from the operations of the union.” Thus, the union’s new management is off to a fast start, but there’s some real work to do to arrive at a deal. Tags: SAG Membership First Labor Unions strike

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SAG Board Re-Do Successful

Digital Media Law

The Board’s vote would appear to render moot a lawsuit filed last week by SAG president Alan Rosenberg. The vote in favor yesterday was 59%, which was up from 53% when the written assent document was used two weeks earlier. The change results from two Membership First board members, Angela Watson and Keith Carradine, breaking ranks and voting with the SAG moderates. Tags: SAG Membership First Labor Unions strike

A Nissan Victory Could Usher in a New Era of Southern Organizing

Communications And Entertainment Law Blog

"The United Automobile Workers union and its allies in the labor and civil-rights movements have been organizing for years to get a union at the sprawling Nissan Motor Company vehicle assembly facility in Canton, Mississippi.

SAG’s Strange Voyage

Digital Media Law

That appears to violate an agreement between the two unions that prohibits disparagement and raiding. Tensions between the hardliners and the moderates rival those between the Federation and the Romulans, and are about to break out again into open war—this time, as the guild membership prepares to vote on the TV/theatrical contract, which was recently approved by the SAG negotiating task force and the guild’s national board. Where did the Screen Actors Guild go?

What Can SAG Do Next?

Digital Media Law

So, if the studios think this offer is one the membership should vote on—their statement implied as much—perhaps SAG should comply. Or, leadership might even include a recommendation that the members vote no. There would still probably have been a minority report urging a no vote— I believe such a report is required if at least 25% of the voting power of the board so requests, as would be the case here—but the fight for ratification would have been engaged.

EU Adopts Net Neutrality

Media Law Prof Blog

From the New York Times: The EU is setting new rules that guarantee net neutrality for the 28 member states of the European Union. The European Parliament has voted to support the new regime, which ends roaming charges by Christmas

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

Digital Media Law

She argued that that’s what’s needed to gain bargaining leverage and added that she’s “confident” the SAG membership would vote Yes, especially after the guild conducts an educational outreach campaign during its wages and working conditions (W&W) meetings with members. It’s my sense that Johnson may be at least partially right – i.e., that the union’s board would support a strike authorization, albeit not unanimously. How bizarre that she’s sued the union she now seeks to lead.)

Three Membership First Candidates Elected to AFTRA Boards

Digital Media Law

Jolliffe, for his part, told me in an interview last summer that SAG was the “one union for actors.” However, given that the union has 70,000 members nationwide, I’m guessing that this turnout is probably on the order of 10%. Mr. Morgan was also elected to the AFTRA National Board of Directors for a four-year term; he also serves as a National Vice President of the union. Tags: Labor Unions AFTRA Membership First SAG The AFTRA Los Angeles results are in.

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Report on SAG NY Town Hall Meeting

Digital Media Law

SAGWatch infers, accurately I think, that most people have already voted and would have little reason to attend an informational meeting at this point. This is a problem—if true, it would explain in part why Rosenberg and his co-plaintiffs continue the futile and disruptive suit against SAG, which is burning up the union’s money at a that the guild has ben left with a $6 million deficit by MF. Tags: strike Labor Unions Membership First SAG

SAG TV/Theatrical Ballots Later Than Expected; SAG Litigation Continues; and More

Digital Media Law

In contrast, the TV/theatrical contract will probably pass with a yes vote in the 60%-75% range, roughly in the neighborhood of the AFTRA deal, which achieved 62%. That’s an issue created by the ten-month delay that the hardline Membership First faction inflicted on the union; without the delay, the deals would have synched up as a matter of course. After all, what judge is going to unwind a twice-ratified union leadership change?

SAG Stalemate Update

Digital Media Law

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. That deal, a good one for labor, has garnered little opposition and is expected to be approved overwhelmingly, first by the two boards, then by the two unions’ membership, a process that will take several weeks. The Screen Actors Guild stalemate grinds on.

SAG Sets Informational Meetings re TV/theatrical Agreement

Digital Media Law

50% + 1) of those members voting. If you work in tech, check out my new book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets. ——————— Email to SAG members: Dear Screen Actors Guild member, As you know, the Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors voted April 19, 2009, to approve and recommend to members, new, two-year successor agreements to the 2005 Producer-Screen Actors Guild Codified Basic Agreement and 2005 Screen Actors Guild Television Agreement.

SAG-Studio Pregame Report

Digital Media Law

Union negotiations aren’t played according to sudden-death rules. There would then be ballot materials to prepare for the membership, and a three-week voting period, so ratification, assuming the deal passes, would be about a month later. Some people say no, arguing that a union that can’t strike is without power, but I think that’s overstated. It only takes 50% of the vote to ratify a deal—but that means that it only takes 50% to block a deal.