No Progress in Talks Seen as Extras’ Strike Continues
The strike of the Screen Extras Guild against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers enters its fifth day today with no settlement in sight.
Negotiations between the two sides broke off Friday night and no new bargaining sessions have been scheduled. The extras went on strike Wednesday for the first time in the union’s 41-year history, protesting wage cuts of 25% to 40% imposed by the producers Dec. 28 after talks for a new three-year contract had stalemated.
The producers say they need the cuts to remain competitive with non-union film and television producers who pay extras--the people who fill out crowd scenes--considerably less than they do.
Ed Coch, a member of the extras’ board, said the union would set up picket lines this week but he declined to say when or at which studios. Columbia, Disney, Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal, Warner Bros. and Aaron Spelling Productions are affected by the strike.
In an attempt to increase their bargaining power, the 6,000-member extras’ union affiliated with the 1.6-million-member Teamsters Union last month. The Teamsters represent about 3,000 studio drivers, and if they choose not to cross the picket lines of the extras it could create problems for the studios.