For Immediate Release: June 9th, 2023
NYC-DSA Stands in Solidarity with SAG-AFTRA Performers
All cultural workers deserve fair compensation and treatment
NEW YORK, NY – The New York City chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America stands in solidarity with Screen Actors Guild–American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) members after their powerful vote in favor of a strike authorization this week. Giant media conglomerates may dominate our entertainment industry, but let’s be clear: any power these corporations have comes from the creative workers who make the content that generates their profits.
We congratulate SAG-AFTRA members for the work they did to call each other in for this vote! Nearly 65,000 members turned out at a rate of 47.69%, with 97.91% voting in favor of authorizing a strike. By contrast, the turnout to ratify the union’s last contract in 2020 was 27.15% with 74% voting in favor. We know that participatory unions are strong unions, and this bold show of support puts the union’s negotiators in a position of strength for contract bargaining with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers (AMPTP).
For too long, major studios and streamers have been raking in huge profits and rewarding their executives with lavish compensation packages, while performers labor under outdated contracts that make it increasingly difficult to earn a living. It’s well past time to increase performer compensation and residuals to reflect the new digital media landscape and set reasonable rules for self-taped auditions and the use of artificial intelligence.
True labor solidarity means workers showing up to support other workers in their fights, and this is especially true for entertainment workers in an increasingly corporatized industry. As NYC-DSA members have been showing up in solidarity on Writers Guild of America (WGA) picket lines we have been heartened to see so many SAG-AFTRA members standing with striking film and television writers. Last week, we also stood with both of these groups and the United Musicians and Allied Workers (UMAW) and Music Workers Alliance (MWA) as we rallied to demand fair pay at the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival. We are fighting for a world with art, music, performance, and entertainment, in which workers who create that work are fairly compensated. When we all stand together, this better world is possible!
Performers’, writers’, and musicians’ struggles against the big streamers and producers are one and the same. NYC-DSA will continue to stand with all cultural workers in demanding fair compensation and treatment for the artists who create the stories and music that inform and enrich our lives.
ABOUT NYC-DSA: New York City Democratic Socialists is the local chapter of Democratic Socialists of America—the largest socialist organization in the United States with over 85,000 members. NYC-DSA is run by its 6,000+ members and activists who are working together to build a democratic socialist organization in the five boroughs.