Rep. Gomez Leads 36 Members of CA Delegation Calling on SAG-AFTRA & AMPTP to Respect Collective Bargaining Rights
Washington, July 26, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), a former labor organizer, led 36 members of the California congressional delegation on a letter to Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) President Fran Drescher and Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers (AMPTP) President Carol Lombardini urging both groups to respect and affirm the collective bargaining rights of members of SAG-AFTRA and those employed by AMPTP.
The letter also calls for the organizations to affirm actors’ essential, irreplaceable role in the creation of motion pictures and television programs, and respect their legal and constitutional right to withhold their labor as part of the ongoing negotiation.
“We write to you as Members of Congress who represent many of the roughly 160,000 SAG-AFTRA members who work on television and film projects produced by the organizations and producers represented by the AMPTP. As thousands of our constituents engage in their legally and constitutionally protected capacity to participate in a work stoppage, we urge all parties to respect and affirm collective bargaining rights as these employees negotiate with their employers,” wrote the members.
Members who signed the letter, led by Gomez, include: Pete Aguilar, Nanette Barragán, Julia Brownley, Salud Carbajal, Tony Cárdenas, Judy Chu, J. Correa, Mark DeSaulnier, Anna Eshoo, John Garamendi, Robert Garcia, Jimmy Gomez, Sara Jacobs, Sydney Kamlager-Dove, Ro Khanna, Barbara Lee, Mike Levin, Ted Lieu, Zoe Lofgren, Kevin Mullin, Grace Napolitano, Jimmy Panetta, Scott Peters, Katie Porter, Linda Sánchez, Adam Schiff, Brad Sherman, Eric Swalwell, Mark Takano, Mike Thompson, Norma Torres, Juan Vargas, and Maxine Waters.
A PDF of the letter can be found HERE and the full text of the letter is below:
Dear President Drescher and President Lombardini:
We write to you as Members of Congress who represent many of the roughly 160,000 SAG-AFTRA members who work on television and film projects produced by the organizations and producers represented by the AMPTP. As thousands of our constituents engage in their legally and constitutionally protected capacity to participate in a work stoppage, we urge all parties to respect and affirm collective bargaining rights as these employees negotiate with their employers.
As policymakers responsible for crafting and overseeing federal labor protection laws, we are closely following the unresolved issues in this contract negotiation. All parties acknowledge that actors are essential to an American Film and TV industry that is unrivalled in scope or ability and generates hundreds of billions for the American economy every year. The contributions of these artists are indispensable to productions that millions of Americans watch each year to be entertained, expand their horizons, and experience unrivalled performance talent.
Therefore, we understand the importance to all parties of reaching an agreement regarding compensation and benefits. We also understand that union members have expressed the importance of agreement on the reproduction and use of their likenesses and work product in a rapidly changing digital economy with emerging technologies that are not yet fully understood or regulated. We appreciate that such important negotiations require time, the ability to utilize all options legally available to each party, and a fundamental respect for the human dignity and basic needs of all workers.
In this contract negotiation, it is our hope that all parties will participate in good faith and publicly respect the legal right of these employees to mutually agree to withhold their labor as a valid means of collective bargaining. Ultimately, we hope both parties can reach a consensus on outstanding labor contract issues.
Thank you for your consideration as we closely monitor these historic actions and negotiations.