Saturday Night Live Post-Production Editors Set Strike Deadline

Saturday Night Live could be headed for a post-production editors' strike if thing don't improve quickly behind the scenes. In a recent Variety report, the Motion Picture Editors Guild is planning to walk out on April 1, if their demands are not met for a new contract, it could put that entire episode of SNL in jeopardy. 12-20 editing crew members are looking for pay rate resolution and health benefits. All of these workers are a part of IATSE Local 700. They've been trying to get a new contract since October. Conversations between Saturday Night Live brass and the employees have been going on. But, some of the sticking points remain around health benefits. This will be a situation to monitor as the weeks tick by. 

In the report, Alan Heim, ACE, president of the Motion Picture Editors Guild told Variety, "Strikes are not funny, and it's also not funny that NBCU is driving us to take this step to guarantee fair pay and benefits for our members."

"The fact is that these workers play a key role in making 'SNL' the comedy institution that it is and they deserve the same standards as other workers on the show have," Heim added about the Saturday Night Live negotiations. "That is why we are thankful for all the outpouring of support they have received from other crafts and cast members on the show. This support is helping to ensure that management will eventually do the right thing."

Saturday Night Live's Recent Labor Talks

"The film workers at SNL last year made it clear they want a union, and management acknowledged their wishes," Cathy Repola, national director of Motion Picture Editors Guild previously said to Deadline. "Therefore, it's very disappointing that despite the Guild's best efforts, there is still no framework for a contract in place. We remain committed to getting a contract in place as soon as possible and leave all options on the table to achieve that goal."

"This talented editorial crew works at breakneck speed under extraordinarily tight schedules in order to ensure 'Saturday Night Live''s timely satire makes it to the screen each week," Louis Bertini, MPEG's Second Vice President also explained last year. "We salute them for standing together to have a voice on the job. Behind the scenes and in front of the cameras, a slew of talented artists and craftspeople help to make 'SNL' the cultural touchstone that it is, and much of that talent already enjoys the benefit of union contracts. We're glad that these editorial employees will now be joining 'SNL's' unionized workforce."

Do you think there will be a strike? Let us know down in the comments!