SAG AND AFTRA MEMBERS OVERWHELMINGLY RATIFY TWO-YEAR EXTENSION OF COMMERCIALS CONTRACTS

SAG AND AFTRA MEMBERS OVERWHELMINGLY RATIFY TWO-YEAR EXTENSION OF COMMERCIALS CONTRACTS

Los Angeles (September 26, 2006)–In national voting completed today, members of Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) overwhelmingly approved a two-year extension to the Commercials Contracts with the advertising industry covering advertisements on TV, radio, the Internet, and New Media.

The memberships of SAG and AFTRA voted 95.8 percent in favor of the agreement. Approximately 125,000 members of the unions received ballots, of which 21 percent returned them. The final vote was certified this evening by Integrity Voting Systems, an impartial election service based in Everett, Washington.

The pact with the Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies goes into effect October 30, 2006 and will remain in force until October 29, 2008. SAG and AFTRA members voted on the tentative agreement that was reached with the advertising industry August 4 and recommended by the SAG-AFTRA Joint Board by an almost 95-percent margin in a meeting on August 26. Ballots were sent September 5 to all union members in good standing; performers with memberships in both unions received one ballot.

SAG President Alan Rosenberg said: “Our members recognized that this two-year commercials contracts extension was a solid, fair deal for working actors. The agreement clearly establishes jurisdiction over commercials appearing on all new media platforms, calls for a crucial joint study that will allow us to analyze the rapidly changing industry and provides SAG members with an expected $45 million in additional annual compensation. This overwhelming approval by members across the country is evidence that Screen Actors Guild is unified and committed to achieving fair contracts. I commend the hard-working SAG/AFTRA member-staff team for its efforts.”

AFTRA President John Connolly said: “The overwhelming support for this extension to the commercials contracts is a victory for the entire industry—performers and advertisers alike. In exchange for express recognition of jurisdiction and increased wages and benefits, AFTRA will now work in partnership with our sister union and the advertising industry to analyze the rapidly evolving media environment. This agreement will increase job opportunities for professional performers in every corner of traditional and new media.”

For further information on the new contract, including a summary of the agreement click here.