SAG-AFTRA negotiators have tentatively approved an agreement that will end the longest actors strike in history.
In an announcement on Wednesday, the union mentioned that the strike would officially end at 12:01 AM on Thursday.
The union’s negotiating committee approved the deal by a what seems to be unanimous vote. The agreement then goes to the SAG-AFTRA national board for approval on Friday.
The two parties have spent days putting finishing touches on this deal that has gone back and forth for many months. The union was looking to have even more protections on AI, and a historic pay increase for its actors.
As the deal comes to a potential close, AI remained the biggest note for many on the new deal terms.
Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the union’s top negotiator, met with Carol Lombardini, the CEO of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, via Zoom on Wednesday to work on the last details.
In an appearance on CNBC on Wednesday, Disney CEO Bob Iger said he was “optimistic” that a deal would come together soon.
The leader also noted that impact of the strike has been ‘negligible’ so far but warned it could become more severe if a deal was not reached.
“Obviously we’d like to try to preserve a summer of films,” Iger said. “The entire industry is focused on that. We don’t have much time to do that.”
The AMPTP called this last push its ‘last, best and final’ offer as of Friday.
This included increase bonuses for actors who appear on the most-watched streaming show. The offer, however, did not include a key union priority.
SAG-AFTRA’s negotiating committee spent 12 hours on Sunday crafting its response.
The committee met again on Wednesday morning to continue to its deliberations.
As of Monday, the union said that there remained differences on “several key items.” The AMPTP modified its AI language in a meeting on Monday night, leading to a 10-hour SAG-AFTRA committee meeting on Tuesday.
Union members will still have to vote to ratify an agreement, a process that is likely to take at least a week or more. But it is possible that the union could suspend the strike before ratification, particularly if the negotiating committee is unanimously behind the agreement.
Talks resumed on Oct. 24 after a two-week breakdown. Since then, there have been continuous negotiations as the sides inched their way toward an agreement.
Before this year, the longest actors strike against the TV and film companies ran for 95 days in 1980. The 2023 strike eclipsed that mark on Oct. 17.