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SAG-AFTRA Strike Officially Ended!


 On November 9, 2023 one of the longest labor strikes in history came to an end  between SAG-AFTRA and entertainment companies nationwide.  

Strikes are organized work stoppages where employees collectively refuse to work until  their demands are met. They often result from disputes between employees and employers over issues such as wages, benefits, working conditions, or other contractual matters.  When a strike occurs, it can have significant consequences for both the employees and the  employers involved, as well as for the industry or sector affected. 

 SAG-AFTRA, an acronym for Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television  and Radio Artists, is a renowned labor union representing over 160,000 professionals in the  entertainment industry, including actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news  writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers,  voiceover artists, and other media professionals. Formed in 2012 after the merger of the Screen  Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), the  union has a rich history of advocating for the rights and interests of its members.  

With its headquarters in Los Angeles and New York City, SAG-AFTRA operates on the  principles of safeguarding the rights of performers, ensuring fair compensation, and advocating  for improved working conditions. The union negotiates and enforces collective bargaining  agreements that establish equitable compensation, benefits, and working conditions for its  members, including minimum rates of pay, residual payments, and health and pension benefits.  SAG-AFTRA's extensive efforts also encompass providing valuable resources and professional  development opportunities to its members. These resources include workshops, seminars, and  networking events aimed at enhancing the skills and knowledge of entertainment professionals,  enabling them to navigate the complexities of the industry more effectively. Additionally, the  union actively engages in initiatives to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the  entertainment world, striving to create a more inclusive and representative environment for all its  members. In essence, SAG-AFTRA serves as a critical force in the entertainment industry,  championing the rights and well-being of its diverse membership and continuously striving to  elevate the standards of the profession while maintaining a vibrant and inclusive creative  community.  

Strikes can be complex and contentious, often involving negotiations between labor unions and  management to reach a resolution that satisfies both parties. These negotiations may involve  compromises on both sides and can sometimes lead to protracted discussions before a consensus  is reached.  

This is the case for the strike by writers and actors all across the nation demanding better pay,  working environments, and benefits. Writers had been on strike since May, with actors joining on  the sidelines this past July. The strike was pushed forward due to the unveiling of streaming service pay, not reaching actors paychecks, as well as the development of artificial intelligence  technology.  

The strike, running at 118 days, had far-reaching implications for film and television  productions, as well as for the broader entertainment industry as a whole. It disrupted the 

production of various films and television shows, leading to delays in release dates and financial  losses for production companies and studios. This event, in turn, could have a ripple effect on related  industries, such as advertising, marketing, and distribution, which rely on timely releases of new  content to generate revenue and maintain audience engagement. In addition to affecting the livelihoods of  actors, many of whom rely on regular work opportunities to sustain their careers and livelihoods.  The strike had put more than two million people out of work for months, and it was tedious, but  the industry believed they had to fight for what was right.  

The Writers Guild of America reached an agreement with studios on September  24 and ended its 148- day strike on September 27. On November 9, SAG-AFTRA voted to accept their union’s deal,  which includes increases in compensation for streaming shows and films, better health care  funding, concessions from studios on self-taped auditions, and guarantees that studios will not  use artificial intelligence to create digital replicas of their likenesses without payment or approval, etc.  

The residuals and fallout from the months-long strike has been significant, costing California’s economy over $5 billion. However, with the deal finalized, Hollywood will be  scrambling for the next month to get jobs and films back on track.Though many were caught in the crossfire, let’s hope for a great next year of movie releases! 


Edited by: Sally (Anh) Ngo 


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