Union Announces Sweeping Changes for Largest Third Party Signatories

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SAG-AFTRA has achieved a significant victory that further ensures only real employers are signatories to our Commercials Contracts.

Effective Jan. 1, 2020, SAG-AFTRA has established strict new rules that guarantee six of the advertising industry’s largest signatory service companies – who had previously been revoked – will now operate as bona fide employers when hiring our union performers.

The union must have direct relationships with employers so we can enforce the standards established in our contracts. This includes: a safe work environment, timely and proper payment, health insurance and pension contributions, responsible use of performance, and protection against sexual harassment and workplace abuse.

In May, as we previously informed you, we had revoked the signatory status of CMC/Forecast, Inc., CMS Productions, Talent Direct, Inc., Talent Solutions, Checks in Motion, Inc. and Waving Cat after an investigation revealed these companies were not acting as true employers.

After months of negotiations over their revoked status, the companies have agreed to new requirements and will change the way they do business by performing employer functions, including:

  • Act only as employer where no advertising agency or any related company performs any employer functions.
  • Secure casting agents in collaboration with the client.
  • Negotiate union talent contracts and hire performers.
  • Have an employee on set during all shoot days with the authority to address any issues that arise.
  • Ensure proper and timely payment of all session fees and residuals, and resolve any claims promptly.
  • Provide electronic documentation proving compliance within 30 days of production.

Operating only under these strict new conditions, the six companies may continue as signatories. However, as before, SAG-AFTRA may revoke the signatory status of any company that fails to comply with any of the new requirements. We also expect, of course, that all third party signatories will only act as bona fide employers.

The rigorous new requirements for these third party signatories are a momentous step forward in achieving a core union mission: properly protecting our members working under the Commercials Contracts.

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