160,000 SAG-AFTRA Members Votes to Strike w/ 97% in Favor – Writers Guild Cancels NYC Picket Lines over Air Quality Issues – Fund Launched to Support Film Assistants Hurt by Strike 

11,000 Writers Guild member continue to strike as their strike could grow with actors and directors joining in it (AP)

Folks, 

Greetings from the Burgh, where I have not been feeling so great, and I am sending a shortened newsletter today. 

$275 Due on Healthcare Premiums This Month 

Speaking of healthcare issues, I still owe my health insurer $275 for this month’s premiums. As someone who sufferers from Long Covid, days like today, are why I have to spend so much extra for inhalers & healthcare premiums

Donate to help me pay off the healthcare premium. Please, if you can, sign up as one of our 751 recurring donors today. 

Writers Guild Cancels NYC Picket Lines over Air Quality Issues 

Today, the Writers Guild canceled picket lines in NYC over air quality issues. 

“Our union’s strength lies in our solidarity, and we look forward to a future where this spirit of unity among creative professionals continues, not just throughout the negotiation process but in the years ahead,” the Writers’ Guild of America East wrote in a Twitter post. 

Also, check out this NYT piece on how effective the picket lines have been in shutting down productions throughout the country. 

160,000 SAG-AFTRA Members Vote to Strike w/ 97% in Favor

Yesterday, SAG-AFTRA announced that 97% of its 160,000 members employed in TV & Film productions have voted to authorize a strike. Their contract is expiring on June 30th. 

If SAG-AFTRA chooses to strike alongside the 11,000 members of the Writers’ Guild, it could add additional pressure in settling a first contract. 

“Our union’s strength lies in our solidarity, and we look forward to a future where this spirit of unity among creative professionals continues, not just throughout the negotiation process but in the years ahead,” said SAG-AFTRA President Fran Dresher in a statement. 

For more, check out Deadline. 

Fund Launched to Support Film Assistants Hurt by Strike 

Finally, a fund has been launched to support the many film assistants not covered by the strike but who have been affected by filming being shut down. The fund launched with the support of the Entertainment Community Fund will exist to help assistants even after the strike is over. 

“Support staffs are indispensable, yet they’re undervalued and underpaid. These workers are the most heavily impacted when unexpected events shut down the entertainment industry”, WGA West board member Liz Hsiao Lan Alper told Deadline. “Making the Hollywood Support Staff Relief Fund a permanent emergency fund gives these workers a much-needed resource that wasn’t available before.”

For more, check out Deadline. 

Alright, yinz, that’s all for today. Keep sending emails, 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. A native of Pittsburgh, Elk grew up in a UE union family. 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 attended journalism school at PUC-Rio de Janeiro. He speaks both Portuguese and Pittsburgh fluently. His email is [email protected]