The long expected merger between actor unions SAG and AFTRA is getting an extra push by both unions. On its website, SAG notes that in 2003, 57.78% of membership voted for a merger, but that wasn’t enough. AFTRA makes the same claim on its website. Now, they’ve got a logo and a unified message to both memberships. Here is a letter that was sent to membership by SAG prexy Ken Howard and AFTRA president Roberta Reardon:
The Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA Presidents’ Forum for One Union met on April 2 and 3, 2011, in New York City.
The meeting resulted in meaningful progress toward the goal of uniting SAG and AFTRA. Representatives of both unions unanimously approved draft resolutions for consideration by the unions’ respective National Boards of Directors. The recommendations include a draft mission statement for the successor union and the appointment of formal groups to work on a proposed meeting schedule to develop a merger plan.
The recommendations will be presented to the National Board of Directors of Screen Actors Guild at its meeting April 30 and May 1, 2011 and to the AFTRA National Board of Directors at its meeting May 14, 2011.
The Presidents’ Forum also conducted a comprehensive review of member input received at “listening tour” meetings across the country. In every location, members have expressed overwhelming support for the creation of a unified national union representing actors, recording artists, broadcasters and other media professionals. This outreach will continue, with meetings in Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., where Forum representatives will meet with members of AFTRA’s Broadcast Steering Committee. Meetings with elected leaders from areas not yet visited are currently being planned, along with additional meetings in Los Angeles and New York.
SAG President Ken Howard noted, “Each step we take together brings us closer to our crucial goal of becoming one union, and last weekend’s meeting was no exception. I look forward to sharing our work with the SAG-AFTRA Relations Task Force and, ultimately, the SAG National Board later this month.”
AFTRA President Roberta Reardon observed, “I am very proud of the strong partnership and clear vision that AFTRA and SAG members are forging together through this process. We have come a very long way in a short period of time, and I applaud each and every member who has participated in this exciting and important endeavor.”
The members of the Presidents’ Forum for One Union are encouraged by the results of their meeting and are pleased to share this information with you. Members will continue to receive regular updates regarding the progress of our work together to build one new successor union. For more information, SAG members may visit SAG.org/OneUnion and AFTRA members may visit http://www.aftra.com/OneUnion.htm.