Two large entertainment unions are very close to becoming one. The Group for One Union (G1) committee working on the merger of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) has sent a “Merger Package” to the national board of each union for approval.
The SAG National Board of Directors will meet on January 27 and 28 to review and vote on the package, which includes a Merger Agreement and Constitution. The AFTRA National Board of Directors will meet on January 28 and, if needed, the 29th to review and vote on the package.
The joint announcement said details of the proposed merger package will not be released prior to the AFTRA and SAG board meetings.
“What we have accomplished over the last year is tremendously gratifying. We are confident our members will agree that we have created something we can all be proud of – actors, singers, broadcasters, dancers, voiceover artists, background actors, stuntpersons and all entertainment and media professionals that will be represented by this new union. The consensus process allowed our G1 members to fully discuss, debate and reach agreement on critical provisions that form a strong foundation for a single union that will protect and strengthen the future for all our members,” said a joint statement by SAG National President Ken Howard and AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon.
The G1 began its fifth round of talks on January 7th and concluded on the 15th. The SAG and AFTRA merger planning process and G1 meetings were facilitated by Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations Professor Susan J. Schurman and noted labor consultant Peter S. DiCicco using principles of interest-based problem solving and consensus decision making.
Formal negotiations on merging the two unions began nearly a year ago, following a “Listening Tour” a few months earlier in which Presidents of the two unions discussed the possibility of a merger with members.
SAG represents more than 125,000 actors who work in film and digital motion pictures and television programs, commercials, video games, industrials, Internet and new media formats.
AFTRA’s 70,000 members work as actors, broadcasters, singers, dancers, 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.