On Friday, March 30, 2012, it became official that the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) would become one union. After 80 years of going back and forth, this historic vote has made SAG-AFTRA the largest entertainment union in Hollywood.
In order for the merger to pass, each union needed to agree with 60 percent, and the votes in favor surpassed that number by quite a bit. SAG members voted “yes” with 82 percent and AFTRA with 86 percent.
Today the mega-union now represents over 150,000 actors, announcers, broadcasters, singers, stunt performers and many more in film, radio, television, the Internet, etc.
“You have said loud and clear that this is not a fractured group — no, this is a united group. This is the largest, most powerful union in the entertainment and media industries and we are now united in a our commitment to improve the wages and working conditions, residuals and benefits that our members depend on,” said SAG President Ken Howard.
In October, the first contract negotiation between the unions will begin for work in commercials. National officers will be elected by the guild members in the summer or 2013. Ken Howard and AFTRA President, Roberta Reardon, have each appointed six members to serve on the 24-panel along with 12 national officers.
To learn more about SAG-AFTRA, visit http://www.sagaftra.org