After two days of mediated talks failed, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) is asking members to approve a strike authorization. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), representing some 350 studios and production companies, and the actors guild met face-to-face this past week for the first time in four months. But the talks broke down abruptly Saturday morning, putting the upcoming awards season and film lineup for 2010 into jeopardy. The guild wants jurisdiction over all shows created for the web and a better residual payment structure for new media and DVD sales. But the union, which is 120,000 members strong, is far from a monolithic group. Factions are already calling the union’s leadership into question and suggest more could have been done to move negotiations along. The studios, for their part, have held firm and say they’re only willing to make a deal that matches agreements recently made with writers and directors — nothing more.
All this comes while just earlier this week the writers union reported that gains made in last year’s strike have yet to bear fruit. The Writers Guild of America (WGA) alleged that studios and producers are failing to make good on payments for writers’ work being reused in new media