SAG-AFTRA Members March And Rally To #StrikeBBH
Nearly 1,000 SAG-AFTRA members and allies marched and rallied today at the La Brea Tar Pits' Great Lawn. SAG-AFTRA National President Gabrielle Carteris, Secretary-Treasurer and Los Angeles Local President Jane Austin, National Executive Director David White and local union and elected officials joined members as the strike against Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Inc. (BBH) escalates. The ad agency is attempting to illegally abandon its union contract with SAG-AFTRA after almost 20 years.
"It is amazing to stand here looking out at all of your faces," said Carteris. "We are all here for the same purpose-to stand as one. We are living in a time when unions are being threatened and today, we say no more. Make no mistake, our strike against BBH is one of the most important strikes taking place today for our union. We must stand strong for fair wages and our future."
Added White, "BBH is making the false claim that they don't need to be a signatory in order to service their clients. They know this is wrong. They know that to tell their clients' stories, they need storytellers-they need SAG-AFTRA members. They need you. That's why they keep trying to secretly hire you. But we are watching. BBH, we are coming for you."
"We have seen just how awesome SAG-AFTRA members and our allies are from the incredible turnout today," said Austin. "Our strike actions in L.A., New York and in our locals nationwide have drawn big crowds and put our energy, determination and unity on full display."
Kevin James, president of the Board of Public Works and the city's chief film liaison; Rusty Hicks, president of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor; Thomas Davis, second international vice president, IATSE; Steve Dayan, secretary-treasurer, Teamsters Local 399, John Acosta, president, AFM Local 47 and SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles Local Board member Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul); gave speeches and reaffirmed their commitment to support SAG-AFTRA during the strike.
Said Fabian, "I am proud to stand with my brothers and sisters in the union because every face I see represents the products that BBH is trying not to pay to advertise. I got my union card doing a commercial. Union commercial work allowed me to begin to pay for my life. BBH is doing nothing less than trying to take the food out of my kids' mouths, take the furniture out of my house and dismantle the house that I live in. Why? Because they don't want to pay a fair wage."
To date, SAG-AFTRA has received a massive outpouring of union support from other national and international unions such as the Actors' Equity Association, ACTRA, Directors Guild of America, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 47, American Federation of Musicians, Writers Guild of America West and Writers Guild of America, East.
SAG-AFTRA's Commercials Contracts have more than 600 signatories, which collectively produce the vast majority of commercials that viewers see every day. BBH has been a signatory to the contract since 1999. In recent years, SAG-AFTRA has worked with ad agencies to update their contracts to reflect the ever-changing media landscape. Just last year, for instance, SAG-AFTRA created the Low Budget Digital Waiver specifically to address the industry's desire to produce smaller budget digital work for social media platforms.
Note: SAG-AFTRA has no labor dispute with any person other than BBH.
SAG-AFTRA represents approximately 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other entertainment and media professionals. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the world. A proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO, SAG-AFTRA has national offices in Los Angeles and New York and local offices nationwide representing members working together to secure the strongest protections for entertainment and media artists into the 21st century and beyond. Visit SAG-AFTRA online at sagaftra.org.