SAG-AFTRA Chief Negotiator addresses UK crew amidst ongoing impact of US dispute

25 August 2023

Chief Negotiator of SAG-AFTRA Duncan Crabtree-Ireland gave Bectu members an update on negotiations with AMPTP and thanked Bectu members for their continued international solidarity this week.

Many UK film and TV workers are feeling the effects of the ongoing dispute between SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP first-hand, as productions are suspended across the country.

Over 600 members tuned into a webinar, hosted by Bectu, as Mr Crabtree-Ireland outlined the three key priorities for SAG-AFTRA in the negotiations with AMPTP.

These are:

  • Better pay
  • Members to have a say on how AI is used
  • A fairer share of the revenue from streaming

Mr Crabtree-Ireland was joined by Head of Bectu Philippa Childs, Bectu National Secretary Spencer MacDonald and Equity General Secretary Paul W. Fleming, who outlined the international solidarity from Equity, notably the union’s recent rallies, and outlined what action would be taken if Equity members were asked to undermine the US strike.

Philippa Childs and Spencer MacDonald both highlighted the severe impact of the strikes on Bectu members, with two thirds of UK productions being funded by US studios, and expressed continuing solidarity with both SAG-AFTRA and the WGA.

Members have been sent a recording of the webinar. Find out more about why the strike is happening here.

Head of Bectu Philippa Childs said:

“This is an incredibly challenging time for many of our members, and the whole UK film and TV industry. Much of the rhetoric surrounding the dispute is about the actors, but the impact on crew is severe and cannot be underestimated.

“We are committed to ensuring that the film and TV sector, and those who work in it, continue to thrive, and that includes taking a stand against unacceptable terms and conditions either in the UK or with our colleagues abroad.

“This is a fight with many of the same employers who frequently undervalue crew in the UK, and therefore our solidarity with US actors and writers is important for raising standards domestically and globally.”

SAG-AFTRA chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland said:

“SAG-AFTRA’s strike is not just a fight for fairness for US performers. The issues in this negotiation resonate for workers in film and television worldwide.

“For far too long, media conglomerates have exploited creative workers around the world, holding down wages and refusing basic protections. But now actors, writers, and others are taking a stand and demanding fair and respectful treatment.

“These strikes are an important next step towards ensuring that the studios and streamers respect the creativity and hard work of everyone in this industry, including the crew without whom none of these corporations could even exist. Standing together in solidarity, we will win this fight!”

director's chair and clapperboard

SAG-AFTRA and WGA industrial action

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