Big union merger approved to form SAG-AFTRA


SAG - AFTRA / One UnionDespite some recent battling in court with dissidents, it was hardly a surprise that members of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) voted overwhelmingly to approve merging the two unions. The two are now one and the cumbersome name is SAG-AFTRA.

Union leaders announced Friday (3/30) that 82% of SAG members voted in favor of the merger and 86% of AFTRA members. Only 60% approval was required at each union to pass the merger.

“With this historic vote, members of both unions have affirmed one of the most basic principles of unionism: Together we are stronger,” said SAG-AFTRA National Co-President Ken Howard (formerly head of SAG). “This merger, the result of months – really years – of planning, brings together the best elements of both unions and positions us well to thrive in the changing 21st-century media landscape.”

“The merger of these two unions is a huge victory for our members, and it is a monumental achievement for the labor movement,” said SAG-AFTRA National Co-President Roberta Reardon (formerly head of AFTRA). “As this vote today proves, great and transformative things are possible when working Americans stand together and shape their collective destiny through their union. I applaud every member who voted, and invite all members, locally and nationally, to join with us in building a successor union worthy of AFTRA and SAG.”

Here are the vote tallies released by the unions:

  • SAG:
    105,368 number of ballots mailed.
    81.9 percent yes votes
    53 percent returned
  • AFTRA:
    65,744 number of ballots mailed.
    86.18 percent of yes votes
    51.7 percent returned