Redford, Crowe join stars against actors strike
Fri, Dec 19, 2008

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - - Hollywood icon Robert Redford and Oscar-winner Russell Crowe have joined the growing ranks of stars opposed to a possible strike by the top actors union, it was reported Thursday.

Redford and Crowe and other stars including Julianne Moore and Hilary Duff have added their names to a petition urging the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) board not to hold a strike ballot, Daily Variety reported.

The petition calls for SAG leaders to quickly accept a deal tabled by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), suggesting the union regroup and hammer out a stronger contract in three years time.

"As hard as it may be to wait those three years under an imperfect agreement, we believe this is what we must do," the letter from petition organizers to SAG chiefs said.

"We think that a public statement should be made by SAG recognizing that although this is not a deal we want, it is simply not a time when our union wants to have any part in creating more economic hardship while so many people are already suffering."

On Monday more than 130 stars including George Clooney, Matt Damon, Morgan Freeman and Tom Hanks called on SAG union not to authorize a walkout.

SAG leaders announced last week they would hold a ballot of the union's 120,000 members on January 2 to obtain authorization required to call a strike following failed negotiations with Hollywood studios.

Although union leaders have said they want to avoid a stoppage, they say a vote giving them authorization to call a strike will give them greater leverage at the bargaining table.

The actors union has been in a standoff with AMPTP since a previous contract expired in June. Fresh attempts to broker a deal foundered in November.

The actors' union is holding out for a greater share of royalties from sales and showings of work screened on the Internet.

The AMPTP say the actors demands are unreasonable and have refused to improve a final offer made in June, similar to other agreements reached with writers, directors and a smaller actor's union

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