Dear SAG brothers and sisters,
There are anti-worker legislators trying to pass “right to work” legislation in Michigan. Don’t be fooled by this deceptively titled legislation. A more accurate name would be “right to work for less.” This so-called right to work legislation would allow a non-union person to work a union job without paying anything. That’s right! We would be footing the bill for a bunch of freeloaders. Eventually the unions will run out of money and bargaining power.
Look at these interesting statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Census Bureau: In right-to-work states, all workers have a consistently lower quality of life than in union security states, e.g. lower wages, higher poverty and less health care.
Governor Granholm has promised to veto any right-to-work bill that crosses her desk. Therefore, these legislators and business owners who support right to work are seriously discussing potential petitions for a ballot initiative. That is why we must get out the truth of this legislation (House Bills 4454-4455 and Senate Bills 607-608). Please call, write or email your state legislators so they know the working force in Michigan is against this. For a sample letter or script, as well as your legislators’ contact information, go to www.miaflcio.org.
Things in Michigan are tough enough. Don’t let national interest groups and big corporations make it worse for all of us.
Reports from Detroit Branch Executive Director
As a member of the Michigan AFL-CIO public relations committee and as a member of the Michigan Film Advisory Commission, I have been busy with two projects: one to protect our work and the other to find more work.
Protecting our Work
The AFL-CIO public relations committee was specifically established to instill greater union pride in our members, and to educate our members and the public about the true ramifications of right to work (RTW) laws. Under the auspices of the Michigan AFL-CIO, the following is a list of aggressive activities over the past two months.
- Two speakers bureau trainings were held in Lansing and Detroit with a total of 200 attendees. The participants are now equipped to speak about the facts of RTW.
- Worker-to-worker flyers were mailed to local unions and affiliates. A call to action to legislators was included.
- A strategic media plan was implemented for positive Labor Day coverage in the press.
- Detroit SAG President Laurie Meeker and Executive Director Marcia Fishman distributed anti-RTW leaflets at the Detroit Labor Day parade.
- The AFL-CIO Public Relations Committee continues with monthly meetings and strategizing activities to perpetuate union pride and educate the public about RTW.
- Meetings have occurred with a number of business groups. Many have declared positions of neutrality or, even better, a definite lack of interest in RTW laws for Michigan.
- Union members have been mobilized to contact their legislators and urge them to fight against RTW bills.
Looking for Work
Being a commissioner of the Michigan Film Advisory Commission has given me a greater advantage to meet with people who may influence decisions on whether or not Michigan-based companies should shoot their productions, especially commercials, in Michigan. To assist with this advantage, I have initiated a task force with the goal of targeting corporate leadership and ad agency executives to keep at least one production in Michigan. Joining me as the core members of the task force are Gary May, director/producer of GMayTV and Ann Mayle, account manager of Forest Post.
Naming our campaign “Keep One Home,” we have a simple pitch. We ask that the targeted leaders and executives imagine a deck of cards and that each card will represent a production that is produced outside of Michigan. Pluck one card, i.e. production, from that deck and keep that one home. We are not asking for the world; just for one production to return to Michigan.
It is our hope that people will agree that the simplicity of the “Keep One Home” campaign is logical and irresistible. Perhaps their productions (even commercials) might qualify for the Michigan film incentives. This is an easy and cost-saving effort that will help the economic growth of our state. Who doesn’t want that!
The Detroit branch council members of September 25, 2007 – September 24, 2008 are:
President: Laurie Meeker
Vice President: Peter Tocco
Secretary: Greg Russell
Treasurer: Jan Stano
National Board Representative: Ed Kelly
Members-At-Large: Teri Clark, James Cowans, Don DiPace, Dana Gamarra, Lili Kaufmann, Bruce Kavaya, Laurie Logan, Eric Wydra, Nicole Hakim Yohn
We congratulate these dedicated members and look forward to their productive activities.
Detroit SAG members participated in this branch’s first hands-on iActor training on Monday, September 24, 2007. They were able to put their pictures, resumes, etc. on the new free online casting website that is offered only to SAG members.
If you did not participate in this training, you are certainly able to do this yourself. You must have the following:
- An active email account and a sag.org login.
- Digital headshot files (JPEG) on a CD or flash drive or a hard copy to be scanned (recommended is 8X10 color 150 dpi resolution files, less than 1Mb in size – must be no larger than 10Mb).
- Current information (Make sure that your agency information and business contact numbers are up-to-date.)
- Up-to-date resume.
- For voice-over performers, digital versions of your sound clips (recommended up to two minutes, 128-160 kbps. They must be MP3s, no larger than 4Mb in file size)
Don’t be left behind. Log on, create your resume and let the casting begin!
On June 13, the SAG National Board approved the new policy toward reinstatement of those members who choose to resign from the union – making that choice a permanent one. In accordance with Article IV of the Screen Actors Guild Constitution, members who resign are not eligible for reinstatement to the Guild. However, such persons may petition for a waiver of this policy.
The reinstatement candidate seeking a waiver of this policy is required to schedule an appearance before the Disciplinary eview Committee and present a petition for reinstatement that includes a list of all non-union work done during the period of time between resignation and reinstatement. A petition for reinstatement does not guarantee reinstatement.
“Individuals who make the choice to quit their union cannot expect to be allowed back in without the union asking some questions about why they quit and what sort of work they were doing,” Screen Actors Guild Director of Organizing Todd Amorde said.
“Union membership is between the members and their union, not their agents, not casting directors and certainly not employers. Screen Actors Guild membership offers opportunities and resources that many members are not aware of, so we urge anyone considering resignation, for whatever reasons, to call the union first. We’re here to give you straight answers and discuss your options.”
This change will apply only to those individuals who have resigned from the union, not to those whose membership was terminated because of failure to pay dues. It also does not apply to members on honorable withdrawal or suspended payment status.
SAG HAS SET UP A HOTLINE FOR
REPORTING SPANISH LANGUAGE
NON- UNION COMMERCIALS:
(888) 297-4SAG (4724)
When should you use the hotline?
- If you attend a casting session for a Spanish-language commercial and you are not sure if the production is SAG signatory.
- If they are offering payments below scale or a buy-out.
- If you become aware of a Spanish-language commercial to be produced non-union.
Our goal is to turn these non-union jobs into SAG -covered jobs. You can help by calling the SAG Spanish Language Non-Union Commercials Reporting Hotline toll-free at (888) 297-4SAG (4724).
Please provide as much information as you can, such as the name of the advertiser, advertising agency or production company, the pay rate, the location and the name of the casting director.
The SAG Commercials Department will investigate and follow up. You do not need to leave your name or contact number. All information will be treated confidentially.
Thank you for doing you part to help create more SAG jobs.
June 21, 2008, is SAG Day, a day to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Screen Actors Guild. Across the country and in solidarity, members will be enjoying their own festivities on this one date. Watch for further details as we plan an event that the whole family can enjoy.
We often encourage our SAG members to go to thesagshop.com and purchase these products that are union and American made. Browse through the shop and find that perfect gift, or buy some clothing and wear it proud.
We can also proudly support our Michigan and union made products and stores. Here are some of them: Meijer, Kroger, Awery Bakery, Schafer Breads, Computers by Union Built PC, leather jackets at Reed Sportswear Manufacturing and, of course, our automobiles. For a comprehensive list, go to “union label” at www.miaflcio.org.
If you have questions about this publication, please contact Marcia Fishman at email@example.com.