Leinenkugel Workers Strike – 160,000 SAG-AFTRA Could Strike Today at Midnight – Studios Won’t Negotiate Until Fall with the Writers Guild

(Courtesy: The Writers Guld)

Folks, 

Greetings from the Burgh, where I spent most of the day sleeping after pulling a marathon session covering the CWA Convention. (Be sure to check out our coverage here)

160,000 SAG-AFTRA Could Strike Tomorrow at Midnight

Over 160,000 SAG-AFTRA members could go on strike at midnight tomorrow night. There are indications that SAG-AFTRA is increasingly moving in that direction. 

Earlier this week, SAG-AFTRA held a conference call with 140 publicity preparing them for a strike, which could happen as early as tomorrow night at midnight. According to Deadline, publicists on the call felt “panicked” as the union explained the restrictions on appearances that would be placed on T.V. and film stars if a strike were to occur. 

Federal meditators have been called in to help the two sides as they continue to negotiate. However, the studios are making no movement to regulate A.I.’s usage in film. 

“There seems to be no real negotiations here,” a SAG-AFTRA member close to talks tells Deadline on A.I. talks with the AMPTP. “Actors see Black Mirror’s ‘Joan Is Awful’ as a documentary of the future, with their likenesses sold off and used any way producers and studios want. We want a solid pathway. The studios countered with ‘trust us’ – we don’t.”

Meanwhile, SAG-AFTRA President Fran Dresher is facing criticism for traveling to Italy for Dolce & Gabbana’s Alta Moda festivities, where she was photographed partying with Kim Kardashian.

“Some real let them eat cake vibes for the SAG-AFTRA members who were marching alongside us WGA members just this morning,” tweeted Writers Guild member Taffy Brodesser-Akner.

For more on the current state of negotiations on A.I., check out Deadline. 

Studios Won’t Negotiate Until Fall with the Writers Guild

If 160,000 SAG-AFTRA members go on strike, the studios could return to the bargaining table with the Writers Guild. Since writers went on strike in May, the studios have not scheduled any talks with them. 

Currently, studios’ plan appears to wait till fall to negotiate again. From Deadline: 

“The endgame is to allow things to drag on until union members start losing their apartments and losing their houses,” a studio executive told Deadline. Acknowledging the cold-as-ice approach, several other sources reiterated the statement. One insider called it “a cruel but necessary evil.”

The studios and streamers’ next think financially strapped writers would go to WGA leadership and demand they restart talks before what could be a very cold Christmas. In that context, the studios and streamers feel they would be in a position to dictate most of the terms of any possible deal.

The severe method comes out of the guild’s successful battle with the agencies in 2021 over dismantling the lucrative practice of packaging. The WGA picked off one agency after another until final holdout W.M.E. backed down, a tactic seen as a warning sign by many in the studio and streamer C-suites.

Convinced that “giving in,” as another insider put it, to the writers will result in every contract cycle from the WGA, IATSE, the Teamsters, and more ending in a strike, the AMPTP is aiming for the bottom line.

For more, check out Deadline. 

Donate to Help us Cover Hollywood Strikes 

The Hollywood strikes could grow exponentially this week if 160,000 SAG-AFTRA members join 11,000 Writers Guild members on the picket line. 

Donate to help us continue the cover Hollywood strikes. If you can, sign up as one of our 751 recurring donors today. 

Amazon Labor Union Members Sues over Lack of Union Election 

As President of Amazon Labor Union, its founder Chris Smalls has drawn criticism for refusing to hold union elections until a first contract is ratified. Now, a group of approximately 40 dissident union members, calling themselves the A.L.U. Democratic Reform Caucus. 

The group is asking a federal judge to order that a union election be held for the union by August 30th. 

For more on the lawsuit, check out the New York Times. 

Leinenkugel Workers Strike in Chippewa Falls

Leinkeugel’s Summer Shandy beer is popular in summers like this one. However, one bar owner won’t be serving it as long as Leinkeugel workers in Chippewa Falls are out on strike. 

“In support of local friends and customers, Burly’s will not be serving any Leinenkugel products until future notice, sorry for the inconvenience,” Burly’s Bar posted on Facebook. 

For more, check out WEAU. 

Strikes & News Happening Elsewhere

Alright, yinz, that’s all for today. Keep sending tips, story ideas, and comments to [email protected] 

Donate to help us cover the “Summer of Strikes.” Please, if you can, sign up as one of our 751 recurring donors today. 

See yinz tomorrow, 

Melk 

About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing over 1,800 stories from 46 states, Elk was the only American reporter in the room with Lula on the morning of the election & traveled with him to the Oval Office. Credited by the Washington Post for being the first reporter to track the strike wave systematically, Elk started Payday Report using his NLRB settlement from being illegally fired for union organizing in 2015. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and works frequently in Rio de Janeiro, where he attended college at PUC-Rio. He speaks both Portuguese and Pittsburghese fluently. His email is [email protected]