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Screen Actors Guild takes big step toward merging with AFTRA


The Screen Actors Guild board of directors on Saturday moved significantly closer to merging with its smaller sister union, the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists.

The board unanimously approved a mission statement for a consolidated union and agreed to create a task force that would work with AFTRA to develop a merger plan, including drafting a constitution and dues policy by January. AFTRA's board is expected to take similar action at meeting on May 14.Sag

The proposed union would represent about 140,000 actors as well news broadcasters, recording artists, dancers and other performers.

"The message from SAG and AFTRA members across the country has been clear: They want this done as soon as possible, " SAG President Ken Howard said in a statement.

"Not only will the creation of one union increase our bargaining leverage, it will allow us to pool our resources to give members the protection they need by actively enforcing contracts and organizing new work," SAG National Secretary Treasurer Amy Aquino said in a statement.

Despite a growing consensus among union leaders that merging is necessary to give the unions more bargaining clout and avoid turf battles,  the sides will have to wrestle with a number of tough issues before the marriage can occur sometime early next year. For more details, see today's business story in the Los Angeles Times.

--Richard Verrier

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Comments () | Archives (2)

As a proud member of both unions? Please. Yes. Finally. Make this happen. Not only for a stronger union...but for One Union. Merge it together. One glorious website where we as actors can have the best of both worlds while being protected. No more figuring out who has the contracts. Stronger bargaining for the entire spectrum of entertainment in one place.

...and yea. I'd pay extra dues for that. I would. I think its a wonderful idea. I hope it happens. And soon. I would like my resume to say "Shaun Landry: American Actors Guild" (that's AAG yall. It will now make it not look like I'm bulging or someone wants to pretend they are the AFLAC duck when they say AFTRA) :-)

Yes, indeed, as another dual member I totally agree with Shaun that merger is way overdue...we almost got it done several years ago, but the militant Hollywood board denied merger getting the super-majority required. That led to the disastrous split between the sister unions and a year-long acrimonious battle over jurisdictions and the film and television contracts...and we actors were the losers in all this. Now that the adults are finally in charge at SAG, there is real hope that we can get this done.


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