MUMBAI: Two of Hollywood's largest actors unions have
decided to merge making way for the creation of a single
organization that will have greater bargaining power
with film and television studios.
of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation
of Television and Radio Artists(AFTRA) approved the
plan supported by George Clooney and Alec Baldwin, with
82 per cent of SAG and 86 per cent of AFTRA members
voting in favour, it is understood.
combined organization, with more than 150,000 members,
will have the power to negotiate for better pay, pension
and health benefits and also navigate the impact of
changes to distribution.
merger campaign began during the strike after SAG dissidents
criticized union leaders for failing to reach an agreement
with the studios. After negotiations broke down, the
pro-merger group Unite for Strength won seats on the
national board by calling for a combination of the two
unions. The discussions with AFTRA began after the strike
ended in April 2009.
may be remembered that a 2009 strike by the Screen Actors
Guild was weakened when AFTRA members remained on the
job because their contract expired on a different date.