Sag, Aftra Boards Approve Merger
The national boards of each of the primary TV and movie performers' unions, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), have overwhelming approved a merger plan. While in the past AFTRA members have supported such a merger, SAG members have shot it down. This time, however, SAG members, who have seen television producers increasingly sign deals with AFTRA, appear ready to assent to the merger. Its board voted 87 percent to approve and only 13 percent to disapprove. (The AFTRA board voted 94 percent for approval.) In a statement, SAG President Ken Howard said, "Professional performers are now an important step closer to the strongest union representation possible. Just as our boards have, I believe our members will decisively approve this merger." Details of the merger were not immediately disclosed, but in a joint email to members of the two unions, Howard and AFTRA President Roberta Reardon said that they will launch a new joint website on February 3 that will "provide members all the information they'll want to consider before casting their votes."