SAG, AFTRA : WGA deal won't settle things

Lead contract negotiators for the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists are warning members against assuming they'll strike a deal with producers if screenwriters do, Reuters reports.

"We are hopeful that our sister union, the Writers Guild of America, will be able to resolve its contract negotiations with the industry before its own agreement expires on May 1, and we support their effort," SAG's Brian Walton and AFTRA's Stephen Burrow said in a statement issued to members this week. "But even if the WGA succeeds in that effort, there is no certainty that AFTRA and SAG will be able to follow suit."

The statement fell short of an unqualified declaration that union members should get ready to strike. "SAG and AFTRA believe there is a deal to be made," it stated, repeating the dictum that SAG president William Daniels has offered since last summer. But the message, sent to 145,000 members of the SAG and AFTRA, also sought to debunk the conventional wisdom that actors will follow the lead of the writers.