LOS ANGELES (January 13, 2008)—The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the national labor union of 70,000 actors, singers, dancers, announcers, and other broadcast talent, issued the following statement regarding action taken by the Screen Actors Guild national board regarding a referendum on Phase 1 joint bargaining at its meeting Saturday:
"SAG's repeated attempts to undermine AFTRA and create a schism between our unions are divisive, destructive, and clearly not in the best interest of performers in either union. Given this critical time in the entertainment industry, our union members should be devoting their energies into preparing for negotiations and building solidarity, not working to destroy Phase 1. AFTRA is committed to joint bargaining with SAG under the terms of the Phase 1 Agreement as written and practiced since 1981. This latest action by SAG is merely a smokescreen for the internal battles between its national membership and a radical Hollywood faction. AFTRA will not be a scapegoat for SAG's internal politics and we condemn actions by SAG to terminate a joint bargaining agreement that has been working to our members' mutual benefit for 27 years. AFTRA is prepared to push forward—with or without SAG—to win contracts that provide fair wages, good benefits, and safe working conditions for all performers."
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO is a national labor union of over 70,000 actors, singers, dancers, announcers, and other broadcast talent performers, journalists and other artists working in the entertainment and news media. With 32 local chapters across the country, AFTRA promotes the success and welfare of members in a variety of ways, including contract negotiation and enforcement, advocating on legislative and public policy issues, supporting equal employment opportunities, and sponsoring or supporting health and retirement benefits and programs. For more information, visit http://www.aftra.com.