LOS ANGELES (April 13) –The AFTRA National Board of Directors and the SAG National Board of Directors, in separate meetings, voted overwhelmingly to approve and recommend a plan to consolidate the two unions into a new organization with three Affiliates. The boards voted today after jointly receiving a presentation on Saturday from the national presidents and national executive directors of SAG and AFTRA. (The actual resolutions passed by both boards are attached.)
The vote of both the SAG and AFTRA board members was overwhelmingly in favor of the proposal (see below for actual numbers). This endorsement means that a proposed Consolidation and Affiliation Agreement, a Constitution and By-Laws for the new Union, and Constitutions and By-Laws for each of three Union Affiliates will now be submitted to SAG and AFTRA members for approval by referendum vote. Collectively, these documents outline the plan of consolidation, structure, membership requirements and other basic attributes of the new organization. The proposed name for the new union is the Alliance of International Media Artists (AIMA) and the proposed names for the three constituent Affiliates are Screen Actors Guild (SAG) for the Actors Affiliate; American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) for the Broadcasters Affiliate, and American Federation of Recording Artists (AFRA) for the Recording Artists Affiliate.
AFTRA President John Connolly and SAG President Melissa Gilbert issued the following statement about the weekend’s developments: “This is history in the making. The decisions of our boards signal their recognition that performers and other media employees face serious and ongoing assaults on their wages and working conditions, requiring brave, decisive action in response. United, we have the power, leverage and resources to win better contracts, benefits and job opportunities as we sit across the table from corporate behemoths that control every aspect of entertainment and news.”
John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO, issued the following statement after hearing the board’s vote: “I strongly support the process you have undertaken and the direction the committee and boards have endorsed. You have listened to the concerns of your members and have chartered a course that will bring unity and power to all performers. There is one thing left to do: vote YES for Consolidation, and vote YES for your future. The Federation pledges its continued support as you build a new structure for your members.”
The two unions will now launch an informational campaign, designed to ensure that all members cast fully informed votes in the referendum on the consolidation plan. That campaign kicks off next week with the mailing to all members of copies of the Consolidation Agreement and four constitutions.
SAG Board member Amy Aquino and AFTRA Board member Ron Morgan are serving as co-chairs of the Consolidation and Affiliation Member Outreach and Education Committee. The Committee has a website available (www.partnershipforpower.org) and will be planning informational meetings around the country.
Morgan and Aquino indicated that both unions have direct emails for members who want to ask questions (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com) and a toll-free number to leave messages (800-711-4421).
Ballots are expected to be mailed to paid-up members of each union sometime in early June with a return deadline in late June.
Please contact us with your thoughts and input.Contact SAG Communications Department Ph: (323) 549-6654 Fx: (323) 549-6656 firstname.lastname@example.org Screen Actors Guild Attn: Communications Department 5757 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90036