Saturday Night Live Strike Authorized by Postproduction Workers – The Hollywood Reporter

A union group of post-production workers recently at Saturday Night Live has authorized a strike in an effort to speed up talks on their first contract, which they say has stalled in the early stages of talks.

On Thursday, January 12, the team of about 20 part-time film editors, editors, assistant editors and media managers voted in a Zoom meeting to allow their union to call a strike if necessary among the slow-moving contract negotiations, The Hollywood Reporter learned. The group, which merged with the IATSE-affiliated Motion Picture Editors Association in October, is responsible for post-production on pre-production sketches, such as music videos and commercial parodies, shot before the live show. After the union was voluntarily recognized by NBC management in October, the group has so far only had one bargaining session with NBC, with no additional dates currently scheduled. The Editors’ Association sent a package of recommendations to management in December.

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A strike authorization vote that results in support for a work stoppage does not mean that workers will go on strike; instead, it allows the organizers of a potential strike as leverage and to call one if they feel it is necessary.

“The film crew at SNL last year he made it clear that they want a union, and the management recognized their desire. It is therefore disappointing that, despite the Society’s efforts, there is still no framework for a contract in place,” said national executive director of The Editors Guild Cathy Repola in a statement. “We remain committed to closing a deal as soon as possible and leaving all options on the table to achieve that goal.”

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THR have been notified Saturday Night Live agents for ideas.

Members of the bargaining unit wore “Contract Now” shirts to work Friday in an effort to speed up the contract timeline. “We feel that the NBCUniversal labor team that is on the other side of the table for this just has not responded in a timely manner or in a meaningful way, really, to address data points that have been submitted ,” said one member of the bargaining unit, who requested anonymity.

While the Editors’ Guild’s priorities for this contract negotiation were not immediately available, the original motivation for unionization was to improve wages and general working conditions. When the group merged in October, Editors Guild second editor Louis Bertini argued that the group “works at a fast pace under extremely tight schedules.”

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If their union finally orders a strike and this group pickets SNL, sources say the show could definitely go ahead, though perhaps without pre-show episodes. How, however, is an open question SNLfully unionized workers would respond to a picket line at 30 Rock. Members of the Directors Guild of America, other IATSE Locals and SAG-AFTRA all staff the show, with guests and musical guests sometimes also being members of entertainment unions.

“The show works at such a fast pace, we know that the company knows how to do things quickly and efficiently,” said the member of the bargaining unit. “So we want to see that happen on the negotiating side from them.”


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