NEW YORK,JULY 2 -- Members of the Directors Guild of America have soundly rejected two contract offers by motion picture and television producers, authorizing their leaders to call the first strike in the guild's 51-year history, a spokesman said tonight.
Directors on the East and West coasts voted 3,294 to 132 to reject a contract offered by film and television producers. In another vote, directors employed by networks and network-owned television stations voted 602 to 148 against an offer.
Guild spokesman Rick Glaub said the vote also authorized the union's national board to call a strike "at its discretion."
"I think the vote totals clearly indicate the mood of the membership," Glaub said after the meeting at a midtown Manhattan hotel.
"We've never struck in 51 years, and the guild does not want to strike. But if the rollbacks and givebacks continue to be demanded as they are now, the guild will have no choice."
Talks between the 8,420-member DGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have snagged over the issue of "residual" payments that directors receive from television reruns, videocassettes, pay TV sales, in-flight movies and rentals.
The producers are trying to eliminate or reduce residual payments. Last year, residual payments to guild members totaled $48.7 million, up 11.1 percent from 1985.
"Neither side really wants a strike," said Carol Akiyama, spokeswoman for the producers group. "So we are really engaging in some substantial brainstorming on the issues that separate us."
If a strike is called, it would affect virtually every type of viewer entertainment, bringing a halt to filming and taping of movies and disrupting TV news, entertainment and sports programs.