President Biden Hails SAG-AFTRA Deal to End Strike: ‘Collective Bargaining Works’

President Joe Biden applauded SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP for reaching a tentative deal to end the actors’ strike, praising the sacrifices that SAG members made in going on strike.

“Collective bargaining works,” the Thursday statement began. “I applaud SAG-AFTRA and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers for working together in good faith towards an agreement that allows our entertainment industry to continue telling the stories of America. When both sides come to the table to negotiate in earnest they can make businesses stronger and allow workers to secure pay and benefits that help them raise families and retire with dignity.”

Biden compared the actors’ strike to the “historic victories” that other laborers have won over the last few years.

“Over the last three years, workers have won historic victories that ensure record pay, record benefits, and an economy that grows from the middle out and bottom up,” he continued. “SAG-AFTRA members will have the final say on this contract, but the sacrifices they’ve made will ensure a better future for them, their families, and all workers who deserve a fair share of the value they helped create.”

After six months on strike, SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP reached a tentative agreement on Wednesday night to end the work stoppage. In a statement to members, the union said the new deal is worth “over one billion dollars,” touting “‘above pattern’ minimum compensation increases” and “unprecedented provisions” governing the use of AI. The guild also said that for the first time, actors will receive a “streaming participation bonus,” as well as raises to the pension and benefits cap, provisions to increase diversity, and higher compensation for background actors.

In its own statement, AMPTP said, “Today’s tentative agreement represents a new paradigm. It gives SAG-AFTRA the biggest contract-on-contract gains in the history of the union, including the largest increase in minimum wages in the last forty years; a brand new residual for streaming programs; extensive consent and compensation protections in the use of artificial intelligence; and sizable contract increases on items across the board. The AMPTP is pleased to have reached a tentative agreement and looks forward to the industry resuming the work of telling great stories.”

The agreement will now go to the actors guild’s national board, which is expected to unanimously approve it in an emergency meeting on Friday for presentation to union members. A voting period will then be established for members to either ratify or reject the contract.

For all of TheWrap’s strike coverage, click here.

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