With the announcement of a SAG-AFTRA strike, The Animation Guild stands in solidarity with SAG-AFTRA members. We recognize their invaluable contributions to the entertainment industry, and as fellow Union members, we support their collective fight to win a fair contract.
Many of you may be wondering how the strike affects you and your work. Here’s what we know so far. Please note: as the situation evolves we will revise the FAQs.
How does the SAG-AFTRA strike affect you as a TAG member?
There are multiple contracts under SAG-AFTRA, including animation voiceover. We are still trying to get clarity from SAG-AFTRA and the IATSE, but at the moment it appears that SAG-AFTRA members can continue working on television and new media animation. Click here to see the notice. For these productions, work will continue as planned. However, SAG-AFTRA members working on feature animation projects are on strike. TAG members working on feature films can continue working on their productions.
What about “scratch work”—can I still do it?
Scratch work is when a TAG member might be asked to do scratch voices—or a kind of rough voice draft—to see if dialogue works with animation. This is not used in a finished version of the project. If you do scratch work, are you crossing the picket line? No. But if you feel uncomfortable with a request, talk to your producer or contact the Guild at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What should I do if there is a picket line outside of my studio? Will I be protected for honoring it?
It’s your personal decision to choose whether to cross a physical picket line or honor it. Honoring a picket line shows your support for SAG-AFTRA members, their union, and the labor movement. The TAG agreements do not expressly prohibit employees from honoring lawful picket lines. Therefore, employees working under the agreement retain their right granted by the NLRA (National Labor Relations Act) to honor a lawful picket line. However, should you honor the picket line, it is the employer’s right to temporarily and/or permanently replace you through due process.
Can my employer fire me if I honor a lawful picket line?
Under existing law, employers have a legal right to temporarily replace any employee who refuses to cross a picket line with employees who are willing to work. Different laws apply depending on whether the strike is considered economic or in protest of unfair labor practices. The SAG-AFTRA strike would most likely be considered an economic strike. Click here to learn the difference between economic and unfair labor practice strikes.
What if I work remotely? Am I protected for honoring a picket line if I don’t have to cross one physically?
Workers who are remote are not presented with a picket line. Therefore, they should continue to work. Unless a worker encounters a physical picket line, they may continue their work. Any collective work-stoppage may become a plausible violation of a collective bargaining agreement.
What about virtual picket lines?
We are not currently aware of any virtual picket lines. IATSE Vice President Michael Miller has explained that there is NO LAW on “virtual pickets”; no definition of “virtual pickets” and workers should be careful when withholding services in response to a virtual picket. This is a gray area and is untested. If workers honor any so-called virtual picket, they must advise their supervisor that they are withholding services for that reason.
What if someone offers me work, such as voiceover work, that is covered under the SAG-AFTRA agreement?
We need to support all union workers exercising their right to strike to achieve the best contract. If you are approached to do SAG-AFTRA work, please contact TAG Business Representative Steve Kaplan at Steve.Kaplan@tag839.org.
Where can I learn more about the SAG-AFTRA strike?
Visit https://www.sagaftrastrike.org for complete details on the strike and up-to-date news from SAG-AFTRA.
How can I support SAG-AFTRA members?
Show solidarity on social media. Show the AMPTP that all Union members stand strong together by posting your support on your social media accounts. Make sure to tag @animationguild (Twitter and Instagram) and @sagaftra, and use the hashtag #SAGAFTRAstrong.
If SAG-AFTRA members march on a picket line, you can show your Union solidarity by marching with them. This does not mean that you are going on strike. Evenings, weekends, lunch hours, days off—show up and show your support, and wear your TAG t-shirt! You can find times and locations of picket lines https://www.sagaftrastrike.org/picket-schedule-locations.