Showbizreporting's Blog

June 2, 2009

SAG wanted how SAG members felt and here are their responses to SAG!!!

Filed under: Entertainment — showbizreporting @ 1:37 am

Member 1:


Member 2:

Doug, I have been receiving the seemingly endless emails and notices from SAG regarding the Primetime/Theatrical negotiations. The very distinct problem with all of them is that they’re focused almost entirely on AFTRA. The latest doesn’t even pretend to be about anything but AFTRA! Excuse me for asking, but what is your major malfunction? The pathetic posturing you and Alan Rosenberg and Membership First are engaging in is complete and utter nonsense. As for the outright interference in the business of another union it is unconscionable and unprecedented in its heinousness. The AFTRA deal falls short? Oh, really? How about the SAG deal? Where does it fall? Oh that’s right. THERE IS NO SAG DEAL! It doesn’t fall any shorter than that, Doug. And the idea that a NO vote makes a strike less likely is beyond delusional. Cut the crap, Doug. Obviously the real job at hand is beyond your capability. You really should do us all a favor and resign and take that sorry excuse Rosenberg with you. But since you seem not to have the acumen or certainly the decency to do that, the very least you could do (or maybe it’s the very most) is to get into the room, stay in the room, and don’t leave the room until you bargain a deal (which will obviously not be the one you had been promising), and STOP MISAPPROPRIATING MEMBERS’ DUES, MY DUES, for your completely corrupt attack on AFTRA! In absolute disgust,

Member 3:

I say it again! Until you hear it. Your subtitle says it all. “Screen Actors Guild Wants…” The AFTRA actual deal puts REAL money in members’ pockets. You know it because you would have voted this deal up had you been able to get to it first. The seed stuck in your craw is the infamous “exclusive jurisdiction” you are trying to foist on the industry, by any means possible.

Sag’s failure to negotiate its phantom deal does NOTHING for members. Your willingness to play brinksmanship with the employers is a grave error that will reverberate in the workplace far beyond your back yard. A failure to bargain in good faith, not once but twice; refusal to speak truth to your rank and file; profligate, unauthorized spending of members’ dues to forward the ignorant short sighted agenda of the few in the Hollywood board – all point to disaster for my parent union. Get real and make a Sag deal. While you’re at it, get your own slogans.

Member 4:

To: Allen & Alan – Responding to your request to contact you, I’m hereby notifying you both: As a longtime dual-card holder in SAG and AFTRA, I’ve looked over the proposed AFTRA contract, and it looks GOOD to me! The various objections to this contract which you people have been spewing forth in your ridiculous mailings, e-mails, publications, and speeches (and even pre-recorded phone messages!?) are easily answered by this one fact: AFTRA has a good (not perfect) contract in hand, ready to approve. What does SAG have, after all of your accusations, lies, and hyperbole? Answer: NOTHING!   At this point, you probably don’t even have a chance to make a decent deal now with the producers before your June 30 deadline, because of your own stupid refusal to enter into serious bargaining months ago, when you had the chance. Oh, no, you had to play the “brinksmanship game”, where you don’t seriously negotiate, then HOPE you can pressure the other side to cave at the last minute… Even now, if your negotiating team would cut out the nonsense and buckle down to work, you just MIGHT salvage a deal. But it won’t happen if you continue to try and blame your abject failure to negotiate a decent contract on AFTRA! Sorry, guys, both the SAG and AFTRA memberships see through that nonsense… I hope you realize that AFTRA’s membership will overwhelmingly approve their contract, and you’ll be left with the vain hope that SAG’s membership, after suffering through a 19-week Writers Guild strike last year, and in this uncertain economic climate, will vote to approve a SAG strike. What happens when you don’t get the strike approval? You idiots seem to be staking everything (including our livelihoods) on an insane version of the “Blame Game”, with AFTRA as your target, when the real blame rests squarely with YOU! I’m mailing my AFTRA ballot back now, and I’m voting to APPROVE the contract. What are you going to do about it? –

Member 5:

Dear Misters Alan & Allen, Receiving your propaganda piece in the mail the other day was disturbing on so many levels. I’m a dual card holder for over 25 years and a vested SAG member. I was deplored, exasperated, disheartened as well as semi-livid to think that you were using my dues and the dues of my fellow SAG members to continue your attack against a sister union. You said you wanted to hear from us and let you know how we felt. It’s apparent, with all the recent events, that you are NOT interested in what the majority of us have to say. We have been shouting pretty loudly that you are taking us in the the wrong direction, against our will and it is apparent that you were and are determined to “go to war” no matter what. We all know how well that worked for another administration. Please stop your hubris driven agenda and take responsibility for your own misguided actions and get back in the room with the AMPTP and “Git er Done!” If you were even remotely interested in doing what is right and work in the best interest of SAG members, you would do well to shovel your egos and your verbosity aside. Rather than using valuable assets to attack AFTRA, just think what you might have accomplished for us SAG members had you channeled all those misplaced efforts of money and man power into the business of securing a new contract.< Please stop using our dues to blame AFTRA for your inability and unwillingness do what is right. Please stop blaming AFTRA for what YOU haven’t accomplished. Please stop using SAG funds to defame the honest, responsible and honorable leadership of AFTRA. It doesn’t matter from which angle one views it, the role and path you have chosen is obvious. It is to destroy a union, a sister union. It’s unfathomable that you, as part of our union leadership would even begin to consider doing this. I always thought that union destroying was someone else’s role. A non-union job at that!!! Ironic isn’t it? Please stop telling us that we should follow your lead and trust you because you say, “Hey we’re standing on solid ground.” It’s transparently obvious that your position is NOT on solid ground. I would like to think that it would be obvious to you that when you’re up to your knees in quicksand, it’s time to get out of the bog. Having grown up in the midwest next to the Mississippi River I’d like to put it another way: The spring flood has started and a man is standing in water up to his chest. His neighbor comes by in his row boat to rescue him. The man criticizes the neighbor for only having a row boat, that the boat was the wrong color and that he preferred fiber glass to aluminum and thought that the boat should be bigger. The man refused to get in the boat and to safety. The moral of the story: The guy drowned waiting for a yacht to show up. Please come back from planet Zytron and return to the reality of planet Earth where the WGA, DGA and AFTRA have been residing all along.

Member 6:

Since you’ve asked, these are my thoughts. In the first paragraph of your letter dated June 9, 2008, you state that by negotiating separately, AFTRA established a template that management is attempting to force SAG to accept. Then in the second paragraph you turn around and say that management has not offered SAG the same deal they made with AFTRA, DGA, and WGA–that their most recent offer fell short of those terms. Well, which is it?? Is management trying to force the same deal on SAG, or are they offering less??? “….having achieved a bump in the major role minimum of less than 4%….” <—- A lie. AFTRA achieved an immediate 6% bump for the first year, a 3% bump for the second year, and a 3.5% bump for the third year. This is a total increase of over 10% for the entire course of the contract. “….NO residuals for television stunt coordinators.” They’ve never gotten residuals. THEY DON’T WORK IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA. They are COORDINATORS and NOT PERFORMERS, so what’s your point? How dare you waste members’ money, printing and mailing your fiction on office stationery?! We, the members, with our dues, pay your salaries. You are here to work for us and to carry out our wishes. And you have failed us miserably. Let’s not get it twisted. AFTRA did not arbitrarily decide to abandon joint bargaining in April. While AFTRA and SAG were at the bargaining table together, SAG refused to seriously cooperate, leaving AFTRA no choice but to negotiate separately. It’s clear to me that several someones in SAG are committed to the destruction of true unity and solidarity within our unions. They only desire to create chaos, confusion, and division. It’s also clear that the result of these actions is more power and leverage for management and less of the same for all working performers. What is not clear to me is what those someones stand to gain from such actions. I wonder who could be greasing their palms…. I am more than satisfied with this AFTRA-negotiated contract. I will be voting YES to ratify it, and I am strongly urging all my fellow dual-card holding members to vote YES on it.

Member 7:

To Alan and Doug, I can’t believe you spent union money sending out this pathetic leaflet. You have zero credibility. I don’t believe anything you say. It’s your fault that AFTRA abandoned joint bargaining. You and your Membership First cohorts have wasted millions of union dollars firing people, spreading distortions and propaganda, while accomplishing nothing. You should be ashamed of yourselves. I intend to vote for the AFTRA contract. I would also be thrilled if both of you immediately resigned. Holding my breath.

Member 8:

Dear SAG Leadership, Let’s be clear. AFTRA is not the enemy. The Producers are not even the enemy. The producers provide work and pay our P & H. Walk into the negotiations like a bully and you will be treated like a bully. Walk into the negotiations with firm, reasonable demands and you’ll achieve some of them. If you are worried about being able to rally the membership to support a strike, your concern is well founded. The membership doesn’t want a strike. We want to work. We won’t get everything in the negotiations, but rather than bad mouthing AFTRA, go in and build on the foundation they have laid.

Member 9:

Dear Mr. Rosenberg and Mr. Allen, I am a member of the SAG Singers’ Committee, a dual member of AFTRA, and about 90% of my livelihood is from the SAG contracts under which I work regularly. Therefore, know that this response to your recent missive is both heartfelt and based on a thorough knowledge of the contracts and their history. Alan and Doug, AFTRA negotiated a great contract, and you know it. Stop wasting my time, everyone else’s time, and my dues money with all this misinformation and media posturing. Go negotiate OUR SAG contract! If you can get a better deal, fabulous. At this point, I’m just hoping you’ll get at LEAST as good a contract as AFTRA did,

Member 10:

Dear Alan, It is with deep sadness that I write this letter. I have so much respect for you as a performer, and I have affection for you, personally.However, I’m not very happy with the current state of the negotiations. Your request for my opinion on the AFTRA contract comes too late, in my opinion, given the public stance the Guild has already assumed.With the current state of the economy in general and specifically the movie business, I feel AFTRA has made some significant gains in their contract. It is far from perfect, and I certainly feel there were areas where SAG could have endeavored to improve it.I’m sorry to say so, but I believe the tactics of the Guild have made any further gains impossible. Coming out against the proposed AFTRA contract without first gathering opinions of the membership was a big mistake. Your announcement yesterday that an agreement would not be made by the June 30 deadline (with weeks left in which to negotiate) was extremely ill-considered. This town needs to get back to work. I’ve supported my family for over twenty years with my acting, and the WGA strike has put a tremendous burden upon me. My wife works in post-production. We simply cannot afford a work stoppage. I reckon we aren’t the only ones. I urge you abandon this course of action and return to the negotiating table with renewed vigor. Barring that, I urge you to ask for an immediate strike authorization vote. Perhaps then it will be become clear that the leadership does not have the support of the membership, and we can get on with it.

Member 11:

Mr. Rosenberg, Mr Allen, I received your Attack On AFTRA’s Deal letter – paid for with members’ dues money. Please call off this useless attack on AFTRA’s contract. That action will not help your negotiations. Please use SAG energies and resources to negotiate as good a contract as you are able for SAG. You now have what you always have wanted: You have gone to the deadline of negotiations, and AFTRA is not in the room negotiating with you. How is that working out for you?

Member 12:

I think what you are doing re: spending our dues money to try to ruin another union’s deal is 100% anti union and outrageous. SAG was first to begin negotiations, asked for TWO extensions which were granted and STILL couldn’t get a deal….all the while saying you were “hours” away….and now you want to stop another union from doing their job??? Did the WGA engage in such nonsense when DGA negotiated first?? Why don’t you blame the DGA for the template? they got first crack at it You seem to be engaged in a battle with AFTRA which is more important to you than doing your JOB which is to NEGOTIATE. You have blamed everyone but yourself and your own inadequacies in negotiating for the mess we are in right now. Shame on you!!! You seem to be itching for another strike. I can’t comprehend your agenda but it is certainly not about actors. Stop wasting our dues money on mailings, rallies and get to the table. And then you should both resign!!! Signed, a very angry SAG member for over 30 years

Member 13:

I received your mailing dated June 9, 2008. It asked me to respond to your very transparent attempt to shoot down the AFTRA ratification vote. Despite the convoluted syntax at the end of your missive, I would like to assure you that I am. 1- Happy to support ratification of the AFTRA contract. 2- Puzzled that the SAG negotiation is being led by a member/chairman who hasn’t been in front of the camera in over a decade. 3- Aghast that SAG is spending my dues to try to defeat another union’s contract ratification. 4 – Ashamed to be associated with this kind of behavior because of my membership and leadership position in the Guild.It is my fervent hope that your Hollywood First negotiators hear back from SAG and AFTRA members all across this country taking you to task for your reprehensible behavior. Other than that, I hope you negotiate a good contract.

Member 14:

I refer you all to the last sentence of Boris Karloff’s 1960 article, which appears on page 27, and, referring to the Morgan brothers who were so instrumental in the creation of the Guild, reads,  “As unalike in appearance and temperament as any two human beings could possibly be, but united in one thing at least…their devotion to the cause of their fellow actors, great or small.” (emphasis mine) The way that SAG leadership in Hollywood has been handling the “negotiations” for a good contract for members – by trying to destroy another union and trying to disenfranchise even its own members who are not in the Hollywood Division – makes me very sure that none of them have actually read the magazine. Indeed, current leadership has strayed very far from the ideals held by the founders of the Guild. Shame on you all.

Member 15:

Will you please comment on the constant flow of propaganda coming from Membership First – even in our residual checks! Anyone else get that little slip of paper in any recent residual checks that puts forward the current SAG administration’s platform YET AGAIN? And the way they wrote it (of course) makes it sound as though I wouldn’t be holding that check in my hand unless “the Allens” weren’t being hyper-vigilant about holding out for the “right deal.” And on the other side of the slip, where they talk about SAG finances? I’m so glad to know that Membership First “only” spent $104,897.91 on the “Vote No on the AFTRA deal” campaign from a budget that was allocated “for outreach and education.” That was outreach? That was education? Where is the freaking oversight committee????? Is this “legal” under union rules? I’m really fed up. Fingers crossed for the results of the election.

Member 16:

Dear Editor,As we celebrate the holiday made possible by the Labor unions across the country, I wanted to comment on the latest official SAG email from Doug, Alan and Connie- you know- the one where they wish us a happy LABOR DAY, tell us they shut down the SAG website, and compare themselves to the founders of SAG 75 years ago. As far as I can tell from the email from Doug, Alan and Connie, they equate the current SAG leadership with the founders of SAG. While I can only read history from 75 years ago and imagine what it was like to go up against the studio system as a “contract” performer, it seems that I am to infer the current leadership is just as downtrodden, just as beleaguered, and just as mistreated.

Member 17:

So, Happy LABOR DAY, one and all! On September 2, I guess I can log on to the new-and-improved-again SAG website…where there will be plenty of photo ops of happy Doug enjoying his salary.And refutations of how the budget ain’t the budget. And threats to agents (who have no franchise, but hey, let’s yell at them anyway. That’ll put a hurtin’ on them real good). And exhortations to sign that solidarity list/ stroke the negotiators list/ asskiss the NED list/ shit on AFTRA list/ whatever-just sign it and we’ll use your name however we want list.And the ninth consecutive month where FTAC is still being touted to members as an effective way to fight runaway production, even though it died in October 2007.



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