The “Saturday Night Live” post-production editing team announced Thursday that it plans to strike starting April 1 if a contract is not negotiated with NBC Universal.
The editors, numbering around 20 people, are unionized with the Motion Picture Editors Guild.
Contract negotiations started between MPEG and NBC Universal after the company recognized the union last October.
An initial proposal was made by the union in December, and NBC Universal responded on Jan. 13 with an offer that the union found unacceptable, according to Deadline.
MPEG posted a series of tweets laying out the “SNL” editors’ concerns with the status quo and NBC Universal’s proposed contract. The union contends that:
- The editing team is paid below industry standard, earning a fraction of what other unionized editors earn.
- There is not a guarantee that the workers’ current health benefits will be maintained, even though the show’s current season is almost over.
- There is no guarantee of retroactive pay to workers, despite delays in pay caused by ongoing contract negotiations.
- NBC Universal has asked for a “management rights” clause in the contract that would, the union claims, strip employees of the right to negotiate over rules and policies in the workplace.
“NBCU has refused fair compensation, refused to commit to maintaining existing health benefits, & refused to show SNL’s post crew the respect they deserve. NBCU wants to shut us up – so we will yell louder. Plan to join us on the picket line April 1st,” MPEG wrote as part of the Twitter thread.
The work stoppage, if enacted, would mark the first time “SNL” has been targeted with a show-specific strike in its history, according to Variety.
The editors have support from others who work on “SNL”, including behind-the-scenes craft teams and cast members. Some cast members wore T-shirts supporting the editors on stage at the end of the Feb. 4 episode of the show.
Sources close to the negotiation told The Washington Times that “NBC has committed to closing the negotiations by the end of the month and continues to work quickly to reach an agreement.”