There are dissenters in both unions, but the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) remain on course to merge into a single union. Hurricane Irene kept the West Coast members of the union negotiating committees from making it to New York, but the two unions said the three days of talks through Monday via video and teleconference moved the ball forward.
“If anyone doubted our commitment to merger, what happened this weekend should put those doubts to rest – even a hurricane couldn’t stop us,” said SAG National President Ken Howard. “We covered a lot of ground and I’m so proud of our SAG and AFTRA team. It’s a challenging task, but we’re working extremely well together and I’m more confident than ever that we will get this done for the members.”
Meeting together as the Group for One Union, or G1, members and staff of both unions held meetings Saturday through Monday.
“We made important progress this weekend,” said AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon. “We examined the myriad strategies, approaches and structures to create a strong, new union that will further empower our members to strengthen their careers and secure their future. I thank everyone involved for their continued solidarity and deeply appreciate their patience and resilience as we worked through the challenges of Hurricane Irene.”
The weekend meetings were facilitated by Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations Professor Susan J. Schurman, and noted labor consultant Peter S. DiCicco. The next meeting of the Group for One Union is scheduled for October 14-18 in Los Angeles.