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AFTRA/SAG Merger Ballots Mailed

AFTRA/SAG Merger Ballots Mailed

Ballots go out Monday regarding the proposed merger of unions AFTRA and SAG. Leaders of both groups have been meeting with the bargaining units at all of the stations in the locals to discuss the issues.
In a letter to AFTRA members signed by Joe Krebs, Chair, National Broadcast Steering Committee and Bob Edwards, First Vice President, AFTRA National, they state:
“We are writing to you now to convey how strongly we feel about the need to support consolidation at this critical juncture and to encourage you to vote yes for consolidation and affiliation. Since 1985 we have gone from 29 major employers to only 6 major employers. Broadcasters, actors and recording artists now all work for the same few major companies. If the FCC relaxes the present restrictions on media ownership this year, the number of major employers will dwindle even further.”
“…With the consolidation of AFTRA and SAG, we will be able to maximize our leverage at the bargaining table, apply greater political clout to our legislative efforts to obtain greater protections for broadcasters locally and nationally (e.g., banning non-competes and other restrictive covenants, tackling the FCC) and be in a more powerful position to organize new shops.”
Krebs and Edwards state that merging the unions will eliminate duplicative efforts and,
“Given the present climate in the industry, we have no choice but to maximize efficiency on the union side.”
Merging has implications for the health and retirement plans, which both unions say will make it easier for participants to meet eligibility requirements.