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AFTRA and SAG Group for One Union Meets in Los Angeles

Posted October 19, 2011

LOS ANGELES (October 19, 2011) ---- The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Screen Actors Guild convened for the third formal face-to-face discussions of the Group for One Union. Known as the G1, the group consists of members from the Screen Actors Guild Merger Task Force and the AFTRA New Union Committee.

G1 members including actors, performers, recording artists and broadcast professionals are working to facilitate the creation of a merged successor union to represent all of the members of AFTRA and Screen Actors Guild.

The G1 received updates from the six workgroups established to formulate recommendations in key areas including Governance & Structure; Finance & Dues; Collective Bargaining; Pension, Health & Retirement; Operations & Staff; and Member Education & Outreach. Rank-and-file members of AFTRA and Screen Actors Guild who attended the nationwide meetings of the Presidents’ Forum for One Union Listening Tour identified these topics as necessary areas for study.

The workgroups gave detailed status reports on their achievements to date, providing G1 members the opportunity to evaluate any workgroup recommendations for inclusion in a comprehensive merger plan. Last spring, the AFTRA and SAG National Boards passed resolutions calling for creation of a Merger Agreement, National Constitution and uniform dues structure for a successor union to be presented for review in January 2012.

In a joint statement, Screen Actors Guild National President Ken Howard and AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon praised the G1 members and staff noting the achievements of the five-day meetings in a joint statement, saying:

“This was a remarkably productive meeting and we made solid progress across the full spectrum of issues we have to consider. The members and staff of both unions continue to work as a true team, and our efforts continue to prove that our shared interests are far greater than any differences we have.

The entertainment and media industries are evolving more quickly than ever, and the chance to bring our unions together is golden opportunity – one we plan to take full advantage of. We’re committed to preserving the best aspects of our existing organizations while we build a powerful new union that will be even better equipped to take on the emerging realities we’re facing. One thing is certain: we’re much stronger together than we are apart.”

The meetings were held in the Screen Actors Guild James Cagney Board Room at 5757 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, and were again facilitated by Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations Professor Susan J. Schurman, and noted labor consultant Peter S. DiCicco.

American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, are the people who entertain and inform America. In 32 Locals across the country, AFTRA members work as actors, broadcasters, singers, dancers, announcers, hosts, comedians, disc jockeys, and other performers across the media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings, music videos, commercials, audio books, non-broadcast industrials, interactive games, the Internet and other digital media. The 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists of AFTRA are working together to protect and improve their jobs, lives, and communities in the 21st century. From new art forms to new technology, AFTRA members embrace change in their work and craft to enhance American culture and society. Visit AFTRA online at http://www.aftra.com, and follow AFTRA on Facebook and Twitter.

Screen Actors Guild is the nation’s largest labor union representing working actors. Established in 1933, SAG has a rich history in the American labor movement, from standing up to studios to break long-term engagement contracts in the 1940s to fighting for artists’ rights amid the digital revolution sweeping the entertainment industry in the 21st century. With 20 branches nationwide, SAG represents more than 125,000 actors who work in film and digital television programs, motion pictures, commercials, video games, music videos, industrials and all new media formats. The Guild exists to enhance actors’ working conditions, compensation and benefits and to be a powerful, unified voice on behalf of artists’ rights. SAG is a proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO. Headquartered in Los Angeles, you can visit SAG online at SAG.org or at http://www.facebook.com/screenactorsguild and on Twitter @screenactors.

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