SAG-AFTRA Approves Deal to End Historic Strike

SAG-AFTRA negotiators have approved a tentative agreement that will end the longest actors strike against the film and TV studios in Hollywood history.

In an announcement Wednesday, the union said the 118-day strike would officially end at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday.

The union’s negotiating committee approved the deal on a unanimous vote. The agreement next goes to the SAG-AFTRA national board for approval on Friday.

The two sides spent the last several days putting the finishing touches on the deal, which will see the first-ever protections for actors against artificial intelligence and a historic pay increase. The deal will see most minimums increase by 7% — two percent above the increases received by the Writers Guild of America and the Directors Guild of America.

The deal also includes a “streaming participation bonus,” according to an email sent to SAG-AFTRA members, as well as increases in pension and health contributions. The union said the contract is worth more than $1 billion in total.

“We have arrived at a contract that will enable SAG-AFTRA members from every category to build sustainable careers,” the union said in the email. “Many thousands of performers now and into the future will benefit from this work.”

The union is expected to hold celebrations gatherings around the country.

Kevin E. West, a member of the committee, said there were “tears of exhilaration and joy” in the committee room after the contract was approved.

“The final vote was unanimous. That’s a difficult thing to accomplish,” West said, speaking outside union headquarters. “It’s honestly been a really long two weeks.”

He said the final deal is “not perfect — nothing is,” but that getting to this outcome was an “extraordinary” achievement.

Ben Whitehair, another member of the committee, said the deal is a “massive win” for the union.

“It’s incredibly emotional,” he said. “We’ve made history.”

He said the union gained “structural change” in compensation on streaming platforms. Though the union did not get everything it wanted, he said it would be back seeking more in the next negotiation in 2026.

“When performers understand what was gained, they’re going to be thrilled,” Whitehair said.

The full details are expected to be released Friday, after the national board vote.

Sean Astin, another committee member, said it was gratifying to be able to tell a Zoom meeting full of strike captains that “their sacrifice worked.”

Full Article Here

Source: www.variety.com/

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