US screen actors guild ends longest strike in Hollywood

HOLLYWOOD, Nov 9: The Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA), the union that represents American TV and film actors, announced Wednesday that the months-long actors and writers’ strikes were over as it achieved a deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

“We are thrilled and proud to tell you that today your TV/Theatrical Negotiating Committee voted unanimously to approve a tentative agreement with the AMPTP. As of 12.01 am PT (0801 GMT) on Nov 9, our strike is officially suspended and all picket locations are closed,” the union said in a statement on X (formerly known as Twitter).

The union said that the over US$1 billion deal includes “‘above-pattern’ minimum compensation increases, unprecedented provisions for consent and compensation that will protect members from the threat of AI, and for the first time, establishes a streaming participation bonus”, as well as “numerous improvements for multiple categories, including outsize compensation increases for background performers, and critical contract provisions protecting diverse communities”.

It said “pension and health caps have been substantially raised, which will bring much-needed value to our plans”.

The union thanked actors and writers “for the sacrifices they have made while supporting our strike and that of the Writers Guild of America”, adding that the deal “will enable SAG-AFTRA members from every category to build sustainable careers”.

SAG-AFTRA, which represents around 160,000 members of the industry, has been on strike since July 14 causing major disruption to Hollywood productions. The strike also included studios and streamers such as Amazon, Apple, Disney, Fox and Netflix.

The tentative deal will go to the SAG-AFTRA national board on Friday “for review and consideration”, the union announced.