AFTRA's board approves mission statement for new actors union
The proposed merger of Hollywood's actors unions gained further momentum on Saturday.
The board of the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists overwhelmingly approved a mission statement for a new union and agreed to establish a committee that would work with the Screen Actors Guild on a strategy for merging the two labor groups.
The board agreed that the committee would also develop a merger agreement, constitution and dues structure for the new union by next January.
AFTRA President Roberta Reardon hailed the vote in a statement, saying, "entertainment and news media professionals are stronger standing together and, overwhelmingly, AFTRA members want one new union. I look forward to moving this process forward into the next stage where we will now work with our sisters and brothers at Screen Actors Guild to build a new union for a new world."
The board's vote was widely anticipated and follows a similar recent vote by SAG's national board. SAG represents 125,000 members who are actors, while AFTRA has about 70,000 members who include not only actors but also singers, dancers, TV news announcers and disc jockeys.
The two unions share about 40,000 actors in common are seeking to join forces to gain more bargaining leverage and avoid feuding that has caused territorial battles in the past.