The Screen Actors Guild has agreed to a last-minute meeting with federal mediators ahead of a strike expected to start at midnight Wednesday.
The meeting comes after weeks of largely unproductive talks between the actors’ union and studio negotiators. The talks and the studios’ need to stop a strike led to the union agreeing to extend its contract deadline. Originally, SAG’s contract with the studios was set to expire on July 1.
If a deal is not reached Wednesday, the actors will join the striking Writers Guild workers on the picket line Thursday.
“We are committed to the negotiating process and will explore and exhaust every possible opportunity to make a deal, however we are not confident that the employers have any intention of bargaining toward an agreement,” the actors’ union said in a statement.
If SAG members walk out Thursday, it would add 160,000 striking workers to the picket lines.
The Hollywood labor battle began in early May when the Writers Guild of America struck ahead of their expiring contract. Since then, the Directors Guild of America negotiated a contract with the studios while the industry has ground to a near halt, costing California and the entertainment industry over $1 billion.
The actors, much like the striking writers, are looking for increased pay, changes to how payouts from residuals work as well as regulations on how artificial intelligence can be used in Hollywood.