SAG-AFTRA on Friday told its members to quit working for Essential Audiobooks for “not paying artists.” The guild filed a grievance and then arbitration, but says the company has not responded to communications from the guild or the American Arbitration Association.
“Following a favorable decision by the arbitrator, SAG-AFTRA sought judgment in the Supreme Court of the State of New York and subsequently executed judgment on Catherine O’Brien and Essential Audiobooks,” the guild said, noting that on May 5, he notified the audiobook producer that he was exercising his right under the contract to terminate his contract on 90 days notice.
O’Brien, the company’s CEO and editor, is one of its featured readers on titles such as Pride and Prejudice of Little Women and The lost World. Deadline contacted the company but their phone number is not in service.
“To date,” the guild says on its website“there has been no response from Essential Audiobooks and subsequent arbitration and court rulings have not been satisfied. As such, with the unanimous support of the SAG-AFTRA Audiobook Steering Committee , the Executive Committee of the National Board of Directors has voted to issue a “contract, no work” order against Essential Audiobooks, LLC.
“Therefore, SAG-AFTRA members are hereby advised that no member may agree to work with this company until their debts under the contract are paid in full and a new contract is entered into between SAG-AFTRA and Essential Audiobooks, LLC, and that violation of such order may result in disciplinary action in accordance with the SAG-AFTRA Constitution.