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AFTRA-SAG Merger Is Off

AFTRA-SAG Merger Is Off

A lot of AFTRA members want to merge with SAG, but not enough SAG members feel the same way, so the proposed merger of the two unions is off.
Disappointed in the outcome, leaders of both unions sounded pessimistic in separate statements.
The American Federation of Television & Radio Artists said more than 75% of its 36,000 voting members were in favor. Members of the Screen Actors Guild also voted in favor, but were a few percentage points shy of the required 60% minimum of the 58,000 SAG votes cast.
“Therefore consolidation of the two unions will not occur,” AFTRA stated. The proposed consolidation required the support of 60% of the membership from both unions.
AFRTA issued a statement expressing disappointment, saying, “The concept of combining actors, broadcasters and recording artists into a single powerful union made perfect sense to our members because of AFTRA’s historical breadth and fully integrated locals.” The board said it is considering its options.
“While conflicts will be inevitable, it is our hope that the cooperation and unity that has been built with our colleagues in SAG as part of the consolidation effort will help us to work through those problems.”
SAG President Melissa Gilbert stated, “Consolidation has been defeated by a minority of the members of the Screen Actors Guild. Notwithstanding that 57.78% of the membership believed that the union’s best chance for success at the bargaining table was to join with AFTRA to form a united front, we shall now proceed to implement plans for SAG to continue operating alone.”
Like AFTRA, Gilbert used the word “conflict” in her response to the outcome:
“We appreciate the hard work and good will of AFTRA’s leadership throughout the referendum process. While it is our hope to avoid conflict with our sister union in the difficult days to come, it is obviously impossible to predict the outcome.”
AFTRA represents 80,000 actors, broadcasters and recording artists. SAG is a labor union founded to protect performers, with roughly 108,000 members.