Rocked by growing internal dissent that is splintering Hollywood's largest union, the Screen Actors Guild has postponed plans for a controversial strike authorization vote until after the union's national board meets to discuss the matter.
The union's 120,000 members were poised to vote on the planned
strike referendum next month, with ballots going out Jan. 2.
"This division does not
help our effort to get an agreement from the [studios] that our members will
ratify," Allen wrote. "This will provide us with more time to conduct member
education and outreach on the referendum before the balloting."
union's leadership has argued that a strike authorization vote is necessary to
give them leverage in contract negotiations with the studios that have stalled
To pass, a strike authorization must be approved by 75% of
members who vote.
But the guild's "education campaign" to build support
for the referendum has met with growing resistance within the
Opposition boiled over last week when SAG's New York members
openly rebuked Rosenberg and demanded that he call off the strike vote.
Rosenberg has repeatedly spurned the idea, saying that would undermine the union
and only benefit the studios.
More than 130 high-profile actors,
including Tom Hanks, Robert Redford and George Clooney, have also urged the
union to reconsider its decision.
But SAG says nearly 100 celebrities,
including Mel Gibson and former SAG President Ed Asner, have declared their
support, arguing that the studios' contract offer is unacceptable and threatens
the future of actors in the digital era.
Just what the board may do at
the Jan. 12 meeting is uncertain.
Although Allen said in the e-mail that
the strike vote would begin immediately after the meeting, that is by no means
In fact, moderates, who hold a slim majority on the board, are
expected to press for a delay in the strike vote to see whether negotiations can
resume with the studios.
The board could vote to replace the current
negotiating committee with a task force, as New York division board members have
The board also could move to have Allen step aside as the
SAG Delays Strike Vote
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