AFTRA Names New Media Work Group to Ensure
Union Standards for Jobs in New Media Platforms
LOS ANGELES, CA (April 16, 2007)—The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists today named a team of senior AFTRA executives to serve on the union's New Media Work Group, established to ensure that employment opportunities in new media platforms provide union wages, benefits, working conditions, and protections for professional performers.
The first task of the new work group will be to report to the AFTRA National Board at its April 28 plenary meeting on the existing AFTRA agreements for new media production. AFTRA has negotiated over 40 contracts covering program material made directly for new media such as Internet, cell phones, and podcasting, including a dozen projects produced under the recently established Electronic Media Agreement approved by the union's National Board in 2006.
“Productions designed for new media platforms are affecting all AFTRA members: performers, recording artists, and broadcasters,” said AFTRA National Executive Director Kim Roberts Hedgpeth. “The New Media Work Group will coordinate work on behalf of AFTRA members across the diverse range of AFTRA jurisdictions.”
Mathis L. Dunn Jr., Assistant National Executive Director, Commercials, Non-Broadcast, & Interactive Media, will lead the New Media Work Group—which includes Randall Himes, Assistant National Executive Director, Sound Recordings; Joan Halpern Weise, National Director, Entertainment Programming; Debra Osofsky, National Director, News & Broadcast; and other key AFTRA staff from legal, organizing, and communications departments—to coordinate bargaining and contract enforcement issues relating to new digital delivery platforms.
The mission of the New Media Work Group:
The New Media Work Group is established to ensure that employment opportunities in new media platforms provide union wages, benefits, working conditions, and protections for professional performers. The work group is charged with:
• Coordinating AFTRA's work in organizing employment opportunities in new media across all sectors: entertainment programming, music, news/information, and advertising.
• Coordinating the enforcement of AFTRA members' rights to additional payments when performances in traditional media are reused on new platforms.
• Developing training and information for member committees on opportunities and challenges that new technologies present to actors, recording artists, broadcasters and other artists.
• Coordinating resources and expertise within AFTRA to maximize leverage in collective bargaining across the diverse range of AFTRA jurisdictions.
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, are the people who entertain and inform America. More than 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists are moving forward together through AFTRA to protect and improve their jobs, lives, and communities. AFTRA members embrace change in society—from new culture to new technology—and incorporate change in their work and craft. In 32 Locals across the country, AFTRA members work as actors, journalists, dancers, singers, 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. Visit AFTRA at www.aftra.com.