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Author Topic:   SAG/AFTRA
DavidChang
Director

Posts: 744
From:Toluca Lake, California
Registered: Apr 2000

posted March 30, 2012 02:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidChang   Click Here to Email DavidChang     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After two failed attempts and 80 years of on-and-off efforts, the members of SAG and AFTRA have voted to merge. The new organization, called SAG-AFTRA, was born Friday afternoon.

The crowd at SAG headquarters in Los Angeles broke into song after the announcement, singing, "We have overcome."

The vote among SAG members was 82 percent in favor – a stunningly high number -- and among AFTRA members, it was 86 percent in favor. Sixty percent approval by each union was required. SAG-AFTRA national co-presidents Ken Howard and Roberta Reardon announced the results at 1:35 p.m. PT.

More than 55,000 SAG ballots and 37,500 AFTRA ballots were returned.

Approval by AFTRA members was never in doubt: They had voted “yes” in the 1998-99 and 2003 merger attempts. But SAG members had voted “no” both times. In 2003, SAG’s “yes” votes fell about 2 percent short; 640 votes would have swung the result.

Ballots were mailed to 131,000 members of one or both unions Feb. 27 and were due back at the Seattle-area offices of Integrity Voting Systems by Friday morning. The results of the merger vote were live streamed at sagaftra.org, a campaign website that presumably will become the online home of the new union. More than 6,000 viewers watched the announcement online.

The merger campaign was hard fought and included a lawsuit that sought to block the vote count. A federal judge denied that injunction Wednesday, but the lawsuit lives on, as does a threat of a class-action suit a year or so from now.

The merger process began in late 2010, or mid-2008, if measured from the initial formation of SAG’s pro-merger Unite for Strength slate -- or in the 1930s, if measured from the formation of SAG and pre-television AFTRA predecessor AFRA, both of whose creation independent of Actors’ Equity even then raised questions as to whether performers ought to be represented by a single union, not two or three.
SAG represents more than 125,000 actors who work in film and digital motion pictures and TV programs, commercials, video games, corporate/educational, Internet and all new-media formats. AFTRA represents more than 70,000 performers, journalists and other artists working in the entertainment and news media.

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DavidChang
Director

Posts: 744
From:Toluca Lake, California
Registered: Apr 2000

posted March 30, 2012 03:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidChang   Click Here to Email DavidChang     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists are now one union effective immediately. The announcement was greeted with huge cheers, applause, hugs, and the mass singing of “We Shall Overcome” inside the headquarters. SAG President Ken Howard and AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon, both strong advocates of the merger, announced the referendum results today in Los Angeles saying, “SAG-AFTRA is born.” Howard continued, “This is the day that we have decisively chosen a path of unity and strength. This is the culmination of years of work. People have worked for this goal for decades. We stand on your shoulders. The members wanted merger, they wanted it as soon as possible and, member, you can be assured that you were heard. You have sent a message to our employers. You have said loud and clear this is not a fractured group but a united group. We are committed to helping to shape the future of the industries. In a single day our future has become bright.” Immediately, the AMPTP which represents Big Media’s studios and networks, congratulated the merged union, saying: “The AMPTP looks forward to a cooperative relationship with the new performers’
organization as we endeavor to address the challenges of operating in an industry undergoing transformation.” The Directors Guild also sent its congratulations.

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