Generally speaking, the two major actors unions, The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), have negotiated with the Producers association together and collectively. However, as we talked about a month ago, AFTRA has not been happy with SAG’s apparent refusal to start official negotiations with the Producers until at least the end of April.
AFTRA went so far as to threaten to split from SAG and negotiate with the Producers on their own. Well, after a weekend meeting between SAG and AFTRA, it looks like AFTRA is following through on their threat and have decided to negotiate with the Producers on their own.
SAG represents about 120,000 actors in movies and TV while AFTRA represent about 70,000 actors, journalists, announcers and singers in television
AFTRA hasn’t liked the way SAG has been delaying the process and even accuses SAG of purpusfully trying to sabotage the entire industry. Yahoo News reports:
“For the past year SAG leadership in Hollywood has engaged in a relentless campaign of disinformation and disparagement,” AFTRA president Roberta Reardon said in a written statement.
I don’t really know or fully understand the history between the two unions, but I do know this… I certainly side with the AFTRA union on this issue. Los Angeles and the Hollywood industry as a whole suffered HUGE loses and damages due to the writer’s strike, and no one wants to see that happen again so soon. SAG’s delay in even going to officially sit at the table with the producers is nothing short of myopic.
I understand that the role of the Union is to look out for the interests of their members… but what the AFTRA union seems to understand that the SAG union dose not, is that the health of the industry has a direct effect on the interests of the Union members.
I have no opinion at this point about the negotiations between the Unions since I don’t really know what each side wants and what each side is refusing to give. But I do know that nothing is accomplished when people aren’t talking.