The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) said on Saturday [Nov 22] that it will ask its 120,000 membership to authorise a strike after negotiations with the studios collapsed despite the assistance of a federal mediator.

The vote would take more than a month and require more than 75% approval to pass. The move prompted an angry reaction from the studios, who said SAG remained the only major Hollywood union without a deal this year.

Federal mediator Juan Carlos Gonzalez adjourned the talks between SAG and the Alliance Of Motion Picture And Television Producers (AMPTP) shortly before 1am after the parties failed to agree contract terms. No new talks are scheduled.

SAG national executive director and chief negotiator Doug Allen said one the key stumbling blocks was the desire by the studios to shoot content for new media platforms using non-union actors and without a contractual obligation to pay residuals.

Allen added the majority of SAG's members rely on residuals for more than half of their income. The union wants union coverage for all internet-only productions regardless of budget and residual payments for internet productions that get repeated online, as well as contractual clauses that protect actors during work stoppages.

The AMPTP has said SAG cannot demand better terms than those accepted by writers, directors and another actors union accepted earlier in the year. The writers ended their strikes earlier in the year when they settled terms with the studios.

SAG said it would stage a 'full-scale education campaign' in support of a strike authorisation.