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Monday, December 23, 2013

The Union: SAG, now SAG-AFTRA


Screen Actors Guild was known as the Guild. The "locals' were Branches, including the Nevada Branch. So what do we call ourselves now that we are part of a brand new merged union?


SAG-AFTRA, or if that is too much of a mouthfull, try The Union.


We are locals of a new larger and potentially more powerful union, as part of a renewed American Labor Movement
No more claiming with pride that you are not part of a union but a Guild (actually the Screen Actors Guil and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists wre always, from Day One, unions).

SAG-AFTRA is at the forefront of the American Labor Movement, in an age where Right-to-work (for less and be fired at will) laws are spreading, unions are finding their collective bargaining rights taken away and only 8% of non-government workers are union. Equivlent pay has gone down agaisnt acxtual cost of living since the 1970's, increasing rapidly in non-union sector jobs over the past decade. Union rights to represent workers, to use the money to improve the union climate and working condtions for all employees (not just union shops) are bein erroded.

So it is that the Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA are now one union, the largest in the entertanment industry, with members ranging from broadcasters to recording artists, singers to actors, background talent to the highest profie celebrities.

This weekend the first full board meeting of the new union was held. The content was confidential (although some items were inaccurately "leaked" to the press). It was positive, unnified and reflected both the power of solidarity and how much work there will be in post-birth pains as a new union culture if forged between what were to very different cultures.

One strong thing to come out of the meeting.

We are the union.

we are union.

We are SAG-AFTRA.

Say it, and wear it with pride.

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