Before the walkout would end, union leaders would realize that the ad industry was attempting to break their organizations. It would require not only great membership resolve to buck the major corporations, but the unions melding efforts with the AFL-CIO, Actors' Equity Association, and other unions nationwide, as well as union actors in Canada and Europe, to bring the JPC back to the table. The result was a pact which SAG and AFTRA heads, along with a near-unanimous voting membership, consider positive.
SAG would be operating with a new national president, William Daniels, who had urged his union from the time he took office to stand proudly for the guild, and be prepared to "walk the line."
Daniels and his Performers Alliance slate had taken control of the guild's national board of directors. Through 2000, they had also begun efforts at reorganizing the guild in two major ways: first, funding a study by consultant Towers Perrin which recommended merging scattered regional headquarters and staffs, plus the need for dramatic changes in guild operations; second, urging the attrition of long-time staff executives.
Meanwhile, AFTRA saw the arrival of a new national executive director, and prepared for a plethora of contract talks that would begin in late 2000 and will stretch throughout 2001. And Equity saw the ascendance of a new national president as it moved into negotiations on its most lucrative pact, the production contract, and other agreements.
Truce, Then War
At the bargaining table in February, both sides immediately began sharpening their swords over disagreements, primarily on network and cable residuals, and the Internet.
The ad industry negotiators surely knew that cable residuals would be a major sticking point in the bargaining. Actors had agreed to a flat payout on cable ads when the medium was in its infancy. But by 2000, the cable networks were now flourishing, reaping income that vies with major network advertising. And the industry knew actors would want their fair share by proposing a pay-per-play formula for cable—a formula similar to the lucrative 50-year-old Class A network vehicle.
Evidently hoping to protect cable income for its members, the JPC negotiators came into talks with a proposal they knew the unions would never accept: changing the Class A pay-per-play to a flat one-time buyout, similar