The inaugural SAG-AFTRA National Convention kicked off Thursday, Sept. 26 with a welcome by newly elected National President Ken Howard and a rousing keynote speech by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.
“What we have created today is an overwhelming and moving tribute to the power of this union to improve the lives of its members all across the country,” Howard said in his opening address. “When we work together, we are a powerful voice. When we work together, we are proud and strong. When we work together, we are an unstoppable force that diligently and selflessly works to empower and strengthen the union and our fellow members… We are taking the first, early steps on a remarkable journey. There will only ever be one first SAG-AFTRA convention.”
Trumka congratulated the union on its progress since SAG and AFTRA became one on March 30, 2012, saying, “One of the major goals across our labor movement is strengthening the power of unions. And I have no doubt that the merger of SAG and AFTRA has built a much, much stronger union. It's a victory for your combined membership… Labor makes possible the joy and wonder that I feel and all of us in the viewing public feel when we’re transported by the magic that you do.”
2013 Convention Day 1 Keynote: