SAG, AFTRA PRESIDENTS ENDORSE INCLUSION OF OPPOSITION VIEWS IN REFERENDUM MATERIALS ON TV/THEATRICAL DEAL
Los Angeles, California, January 27, 2005 - In a statement issued today, Melissa Gilbert, president of Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and John P. Connolly, president of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), announced they will recommend to the SAG/AFTRA Joint National Board that both a pro and con statement be included in the member referendum, assuming the recently negotiated TV/Theatrical Agreement is approved by the joint board this Saturday.
Connolly and Gilbert stated: "We believe this deal stands on its merits, and we also believe that the membership deserves and has a right to expect an honest, open assessment from its unions. By inviting those who disagree with the decision of our negotiating committee to state their views in the official document, we are taking a stand against divisive political infighting in support of full disclosure and democratic debate. The inclusion of pro and con statements is not required, but is a reflection of our confidence in the ability of our members to analyze the facts, assess the environment in which they work, and make the decision that is right for them and for their unions."
Although the individual national board rules for both SAG and AFTRA provide for a "minority report" in the event 25 percent of that board votes against a proposed contract, there is no similar rule that applies in a SAG/AFTRA Joint National Board meeting. Therefore, the Presidents' recommendation for the inclusion of a "con" statement from the minority in the referendum materials will need the approval of a simple majority of the joint board.
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 nearly 120,000 working actors in film, television, industrials, commercials and music videos. 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 www.sag.org.
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists -- affiliated with the AFL-CIO -- is a diverse national union representing nearly 80,000 professional performers, broadcasters and recording artists in 32 Locals throughout the country. AFTRA members work as actors, broadcast journalists, dancers, singers, announcers, hosts, comedians and disc jockeys in all aspects of the media industries including television and radio, sound recordings, commercials, industrial non-broadcast, interactive games and the Internet. More information on AFTRA is available at www.aftra.com.
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