The basic premise of organizing is that many voices saying the same thing are more powerful than one voice. Member-to-member communication and cooperation are key to successful organizing.
Actors are facing many new challenges that threaten their ability to make a living doing what we love. Although many actors love their work so much they might do it for free, the fact is that when producers are making money from an actor’s performance that actor deserves to be paid their fair share…it’s only right. Actors must organize and exercise solidarity to achieve the goals of increasing SAG-AFTRA productions and creating more work for all SAG-AFTRA members.
Membership participation is the key to successful organizing. A powerful union comes from an activated membership. There are many ways to get involved at SAG-AFTRA, from joining MOVE (Member Organizing Volunteer Efforts) to participating in SAG-AFTRA trainings, membership meetings, and caucuses. Even with your busy schedule, there are opportunities for every member to help.
To help organize check out MOVE (Member Organizing Volunteer Efforts)
SAG-AFTRA has been actively engaged in organizing in the area of audiobooks for the last several years. In fact, the union has organized 18 audiobook producers and publishers since 2008, including Audible.com and many of its subcontractors.
Bee Audio, based in Ashland, Ore., is producing books for various major publishers but is paying half or less than half the industry-standard rates to narrators per finished hour of recording and has refused to bargain, stating in a written communication to its narrators that to do so would “involve pay increases across the board” and opting instead to maintain its current “efficient business model.”
As such, and with the unanimous support of the SAG-AFTRA Audiobook Steering Committee, the SAG-AFTRA Executive Committee, and professional narrators coast to coast, the National Board of Directors has voted unanimously to issue a “no contract, no work” order against Bee Audio. Therefore, SAG-AFTRA members are hereby informed that no member may accept work as an audiobook narrator for Bee Audio and that violation of such order may result in disciplinary action in accordance with the SAG-AFTRA Constitution.
The Board resolution included a request to Actors’ Equity Association to support SAG-AFTRA in this effort by advising its members not to accept work as audiobook narrators for Bee Audio, in accordance with Article X(1)(f)(1) of the Bylaws of Actors’ Equity Association.
Members with questions may contact the following SAG-AFTRA staff:
Jane Love, Associate Executive Director, Washington – Mid Atlantic Local, firstname.lastname@example.org / (301) 657-2560
Richard Larkin, Associate Executive Director/Labor Counsel, News & Broadcast, email@example.com / (212) 863-4242
Steve Sidawi, Organizing Director, Western Region, firstname.lastname@example.org / (323) 634-8118
Assistant to the National Executive Director of Organizing: Rosita Badlu
Office: (212) 863-4220