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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Beware Free Dowloads...Virus, worms and worse await!

'The Hunger Games' used as bait by hackers

Hunger GamesFrom the LA Times Company Town Blog (click here).

The "Hunger Games" heroine Katniss is apparently catnip for hackers.

Cyber criminals have been dangling the lure of of free online copies of the blockbuster film to trick young fans into downloading malicious software onto their computers.

In the two weeks preceding the movie's March 23 premiere, experts identified some 37 instances of offers for illegal movie downloads that were "poisoned."

"It's not actually the 'Hunger Games' footage, it pretends to be that," said Marian Merritt,
internet safety advocate for Norton, industry giant Symantec's brand of anti-virus software. "It's posted merely for the purpose of tricking fans."

Merritt said cyber criminals often use big cultural events -- such as the royal wedding or the release of the "Twilight" movies -- to dupe the unwitting into downloading a bit of malicious software onto their computers.

Such programs allow hackers to gain access to the information stored on that computer, infect other computers on the home network and beyond, Merritt said, or use the computer as a "bot" (short for robot) to launch a variety of attacks, such as sending out spam or being part of a coordinated "denial-of-service” attack.

"The 'Hunger Games' in part is of appeal to the youngest kids," Merritt said. "We find that kids are particularly vulnerable to this kind of threat, the poisoned search result threat."

Merritt urges parents to talk to their kids about steering clear of such online promises of sensational content, such as leaked videos. Norton and other companies, of course, make software that's designed to prevent this problem.

A free version of Norton Safe Web Lite can be found here.

RELATED:

'Hunger Games' ads coyly don't show the Hunger Games
Studios gorge on young-adult fiction amid success of 'Hunger Games'
'Hunger Games' sets a mark for a non-sequel with an estimated $155-million start
-- Dawn C. Chmielewski

Photo: Jennifer Lawrence portrays Katniss Everdeen in a scene from "The Hunger Games." Credit:  Murray Close / Lionsgate

SAG chain of executive chain remains in tact

Linda Dowell, SAG Regional Branch Executive,  has been named Assistant National Executive Director, Locals, for SAG-AFTRA!

Ex-AFTRA President to Merger Opponents: 'Message F---in' Delivered'


SAG AFTRA One Union Logo - H 2012

The vote in Hollywood, home of anti-merger efforts, is a surprising 77 percent in favor.

Like all of the union officials in front of the cameras and in the audience at Friday's press conference announcing the merger of SAG and AFTRA, John Connolly was overjoyed at the result. But it perhaps held especially poignant meaning for him, since Connolly was the president of AFTRA in 2003, when the previous merger attempt failed. Then, the AFTRA vote exceeded the required 60 percent, but SAG fell 2 percent shy; 640 votes would have swung the balloting.
This time was different. AFTRA voted 86 percent in favor, and SAG voted a stunning 82 percent, with a high turnout (53 percent) that was virtually identical to 2003's.

That 82 percent is "a major 2-by-4 across the mule's head," Connolly told The Hollywood Reporter, referring to merger opponents who have repeatedly sued their own union to block merger efforts.
"Message f---in' delivered," he added.

And although Connolly didn't mention it, and the number hasn't been reported, THR has learned that the vote among SAG's Hollywood Division -- previously the stronghold of anti-merger forces -- was 77 percent in favor of merger. A SAG spokeswoman declined comment, but it seems that even in Hollywood, the SAG membership was ready to join forces in a single union, SAG-AFTRA.

Bookmark The Hollywood Reporter’s Labor Page for the most in-depth coverage of entertainment 
unions and guilds.

Email: jhandel@att.net
Twitter: @jhandel

our editor recommends


Company Town

The business behind the show

Star sightings and Leslie Moonves at Sumner Redstone ceremony

  SumnerRedstoneStarPhilippeDaumanBradGreyLeslieMoonves
Two sides of Hollywood were on display Friday as billionaire Sumner Redstone, executive chairman of Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp., received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Clustered outside the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel were the industry's power brokers, all in suits: Redstone; CBS Corp. Chief Executive Leslie Moonves; Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman; Paramount Pictures Chairman Brad Grey and Vice Chairman Rob Moore; producer Brian Grazer; Viacom Chief Operating Officer Thomas Dooley and Entertainment Group President Doug Herzog, who oversees Comedy Central; and Cyma Zarghami, the head of children's channel Nickelodeon.
JulieChenAnother Hollywood contingent was there too: about 200 stargazers, many of whom began gathering more than an hour before the ceremony. They milled about in the street, separated from the power crowd by metal barriers.
"There's Julie Chen!" shouted one of the fans when the star of CBS' daytime talk show, "The Talk," strode into view.
"It is Julie Chen!" chimed in another fan, 20-year-old Jeremiah Miller, who lives in Hollywood and frequents the star-unveiling ceremonies.
"Who's the guy in the gray suit next to Julie Chen?" Miller asked.
A reporter said the gray-suited man was Leslie Moonves, one of television's biggest titans -- as well as Chen's husband.
"Oh," Miller said, then turning to the other spectators:  "He runs CBS."
"I always hate the ceremonies where I never know people's names," Miller said. "You know who I would really like to see?  George Lopez."
RELATED:
Sumner Redstone receives star on Hollywood Walk of Fame
Sumner Redstone attends Viacom's shareholders' meeting
Viacom executives again among America's highest paid
-- Meg James
Top photo: Viacom and CBS Chairman Sumner Redstone, seated, received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Behind him from left: Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman, Paramount Pictures Chairman Brad Grey and CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves.  Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images 
Bottom photo:  Julie Chen. Credit: John P. Filo / CBS

Merger makes Twitter History...World Wide!

The merger news trended WORLDWIDE today!
 
Following today's historic merger announcement, SAG-AFTRA trended on Twitter worldwide in the #2, #3 AND #4 position.
 
Photos from today's historic announcement in Los Angeles about the merger of SAG and AFTRA.
 

Acoustic Complaint, Music Center Triumph and other Smith Center News






Source for links: http://www.porcelainbomb.com/

Friday, March 30, 2012

Farwell Joe Hammond, director, tech director and educator

 
It's no secret to local theater folks that Joe Hammond has left town.

The 58-year-old former College of Southern Nevada technical theater director for the Cheyenne campus, and one-time theater producer, was a well-known fixture around these parts. You were just as likely to see him scrubbing toilets at Las Vegas Little Theatre as you would catch him teaching a class, acting in a play or helping a company with sets and lights.

Click here to read the full story on the Review Journal on-line.

"Hairspray at Summerlain Library on Monday

Events, Saturday March 31, 2012

Condolences to a fellow SAG member and unionist

Karen - The love of my life passed - I love you Little Darlin
"I am so humble and thankful that God put you in my life... Karen Waller-McGinn April 14, 2011"

Events Friday March 30, 2012

SAG Actor: It's Now SAG-AFTRA

SAG Actor: It's Now SAG-AFTRA: SAG/AFTRA Merger Passes: It's Now SAG-...

Shakespeare for Actors by Actors

Box Seat Luxury for "The Color Purple"

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SAG and AFTRA members give thumbs up to merger

Sag-and-aftra

From the LA Times Company Town Blog

Creating Hollywood's largest entertainment union, members of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists have voted overwhelmingly to combine into a single bargaining unit.

SAG represents 125,000 actors, extras and stunt performers in movies and television shows. AFTRA has about 70,000 members who are actors as well as singers, dancers, disc jockeys, sports announcers, comedians and broadcast journalists, among others. About 40,000 people hold membership in both labor groups.

The historic vote comes nearly two years after union leaders began discussions to merge in a bid to gain more leverage in contract negotiations with studios and to end a long history of jurisdictional disputes and feuding over negotiating strategy.

Under the plan, the new consolidated union will be called simply SAG-AFTRA. National officers, including the president and secretary-treasurer, would be elected directly by members. However, some other positions, such as an executive vice president, would be elected by delegates at a convention held every two years -- a concession to AFTRA's tradition of using conventions and delegates. SAG elects its officers directly by a vote of members.

Dues will increase for some members, including for current AFTRA-only members, and drop for others, including those who are already dual card holders.

The results represent a victory for leaders of both unions, who campaigned heavily to join forces after a bitter dispute erupted in 2008. At that time, AFTRA suspended its longtime bargaining partnership with SAG, which lost its traditional dominance in prime-time television as producers steered most of their contracts for new shows to AFTRA. SAG President Ken Howard and his supporters were elected on a pledge to merge with AFTRA.

Two previous attempts at combining the unions failed in 1999 and 2003, when 58% of SAG members voted to endorse it, falling just short of the required 60%. AFTRA members voted 76% in favor of the combination.

A group of actors including Ed Harris, Martin Sheen and Ed Asner recently filed a lawsuit to block the latest referendum vote, arguing that the SAG board breached its fiduciary duties to conduct an actuarial impact study detailing the effects of the proposed merger on health and pension benefits for SAG members. But a federal judge earlier this week rejected their request for an injunction blocking the ballot count.

RELATED:
SAG board votes to approve merger plan
SAG, AFTRA craft merger plan
SAG-AFTRA merger means some dues will rise, others fall

-- Richard Verrier

SAG, AFTRA members approve historic merger

Members overwhelmingly approve combo in referendum

Variety
 
 
Members of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists have voted to merge their unions, creating SAG-AFTRA. 
 
The vote tallies wound up with SAG members approving the deal by an 82% margin; AFTRA members approved it by 86%.

Results were disclosed Friday afternoon at SAG headquarters in Los Angeles, with SAG president Ken Howard and AFTRA president Roberta Reardon making the announcement.

Members approved the new union, with about 130,000 members, in balloting that took place over the past month. Merger backers asserted that the the combined SAG-AFTRA will have more bargaining clout than separate unions possessed.

The merger required backing of 60% of those casting votes from each union. SAG members, who have strongly backed pro-merger candidates in recent years, turned down mergers in 1998 and 2003 - when the margin was 2% short of the required 60%.

The new SAG-AFTRA immediately replaces the two unions, with Howard and Reardon becoming co-presidents and a single SAG-AFTRA national board formed by combining the two national boards.
The DGA was quick to congratulate the thesp unions on the historic vote.

"This decision has been a long time in the making," said DGA prexy Taylor Hackford in a statement issued minutes after the results of the referendum were announced. "Both guilds labored for many years to achieve this merger, believing that a single combined union would be stronger, more unified and more capable of representing the needs of its members in a changing entertainment landscape...We believe the merged guild will benefit not only actors but all who work in the entertainment community."

Howard and Reardon have campaigned extensively for merger the past three years on the issue, asserting that the combining the unions is a logical response to the trend of consolidation among entertainment conglomerates. They have also pushed for the merger as a first step toward solving the problem of performers not qualifying for coverage under separate SAG and AFTRA health and pension plans.

The merger announcement came two days after anti-merger forces sustained a court defeat when a federal judge refused to grant a preliminary injunction to block the vote count, alleging that the guild hasn't adhered to its rules in sending out the proposal to members. Plaintiffs in the suit included board members Martin Sheen and Ed Harris and former presidents Kathleen Nolan, Ed Asner and Alan Rosenberg.

The merger had been endorsed by over 2,200 members, including George Clooney, Robert DeNiro, Danny DeVito and Tom Hanks.

Contact Dave McNary at dave.mcnary@variety.com

It's Now SAG-AFTRA


SAG/AFTRA Merger Passes: It's Now SAG-AFTRA


SAG AFTRA One Union Logo - H 2012

Eighty years later, two Hollywood unions are one. Both approve the merger by more than 80 percent.

After two failed attempts and 80 years of on-and-off efforts, the members of SAG and AFTRA have voted to merge. The new organization, called SAG-AFTRA, was born Friday afternoon.
The crowd at SAG headquarters in Los Angeles broke into song after the announcement, singing, "We have overcome."

The vote among SAG members was 82 percent in favor – a stunningly high number -- and among AFTRA members, it was 86 percent in favor. Sixty percent approval by each union was required.

Newly titled SAG-AFTRA national co-presidents Ken Howard and Roberta Reardon announced the results at 1:35 p.m. PT.

“With this historic vote, members of both unions have affirmed one of the most basic principles of unionism: Together we are stronger,” Howard said. “This merger, the result of months – really years – of planning, brings together the best elements of both unions and positions us well to thrive in the changing 21st-century media landscape.”

More than 55,000 SAG ballots and 37,500 AFTRA ballots were returned. That represents 53 percent and 52 percent of the ballots mailed to SAG and AFTRA, respectively.

Approval by AFTRA members was never in doubt: They had voted “yes” in the 1998-99 and 2003 merger attempts. But SAG members had voted “no” both times. In 2003, SAG’s “yes” votes fell about 2 percent short; 640 votes would have swung the result.

“The merger of these two unions is a huge victory for our members, and it is a monumental achievement for the labor movement,” said Reardon. “As this vote today proves, great and transformative things are possible when working Americans stand together and shape their collective destiny through their union. I applaud every member who voted and invite all members, locally and nationally, to join with us in building a successor union worthy of AFTRA and SAG.”

Ballots were mailed to 131,000 members of one or both unions Feb. 27 and were due back at the Seattle-area offices of Integrity Voting Systems by Friday morning. The results of the merger vote were live streamed at sagaftra.org, a campaign website that presumably will become the online home of the new union. More than 6,000 viewers watched the announcement online.


The merger campaign was hard fought and included a lawsuit that sought to block the vote count. A federal judge denied that injunction Wednesday, but the lawsuit lives on, as does a threat of a class-action suit a year or so from now.

The merger process began in late 2010, or mid-2008, if measured from the initial formation of SAG’s pro-merger Unite for Strength slate -- or in the 1930s, if measured from the formation of SAG and pre-television AFTRA predecessor AFRA, both of whose creation independent of Actors’ Equity even then raised questions as to whether performers ought to be represented by a single union, not two or three.

SAG-AFTRA said it now represents more than 150,000 actors, announcers, broadcasters, journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voice-over artists and other media professionals whose work can be seen and heard in theaters, on TV and radio, sound recordings, the Internet, games, mobile devices and home video.

Bookmark The Hollywood Reporter’s Labor Page for the most in-depth coverage of entertainment unions and guilds.

Email: jhandel@att.net
Twitter: @jhandel

SAG-AFTRA is born! This is the day we have decisivly chosen a path of unity and Strength! -Ken Howard

Today we became one union, SAG-AFTRA


"How about that!" exclaimed now national co-president Ken Howard as the audience sang to the tune of 'We Shall Overcome",  "We have overcome today!"

"What is so overwhelming to me is the sheer number of members who took the leap of faith together and proved there is power in unions." added co-president Rebecca Reardon to solid applause.

I cannot out it into words. I am proud to serve as Nevada's representative on the inaugural National Board of our new merged union. I am humbled and look forward to the work ahead forging the bones, skin and fabric of our new union. I would hope I can see it through over the next two to five years. Thank you for your support and your votes.

The national vote came down as follows:

MERGER of SAG and AFTRA APPROVED

 

86% of AFTRA 
82% of SAG voted to approve merger!


57% return on AFTRA side, or over 37,500 votes counted
53% return on SAG side, or over 55,000 votes counted.

Shortly after one this afternoon a press conference from the SAG headquarters shared the results of a month long vote, which ended at ten this morning. As Ken Howard put it "This is the culmination o years of work, of all the dedicated people who have worked toward this goal for decades. You have sent a message to our employers. you have said loud and clear, that this is not a fractured union this is a unified group ready for the future."


Howard welcomed "the largest and most powerful  union in Hollywood. In this single day the future has become brighter.."


Co-president Rebeca Reardon later pointed out "considering what has happened to public employees and other unions in Wisconsin and across the country, today is a victory for the American Labor Union Movement. We can turn the tide." To which Howard added "a rising tide raises all ships."


Co-president Reardon exclaimed "the birth of your new union is an historic day for the American Labor union movement...The collective will and energy to make this happen, the energy, power and collective will to move forward as the bargaining rights of collective workers across the country have been under siege, the solidarity and collective will to get this done will empower all Americans to move forward!"


Reardon spoke of organization efforts "coast to coast, large markets and small towns, on all areas of work and contracts...We have one voice. We are all about organizing. We are going to organize not only in the major cities, but in every city and town in this country!"


The room was packed with reporters, as well as past presidents of both unions, past union officers and members who flew in from as far away as Boston to be in the room during the historic announcement.


Elections for the new union will occur in the spring or summer of 2013 and will include all offices and seats. Select positions, including at least one national vice president, will be elected at an AFTRA style member convention sometime between spring and fall of next year.


Once again. Thank you for making this day possible! Thank your for electing me as your national board representative so I could continue to be a part of a process I became involved in over 17 years ago, and thank you for your consideration for my continuation under the new union as we build the union and its fabric over the next two to five years.


-Art Lynch
createcom@gmail.com


The first official SAG-AFTRA Union Press Release (complete vote count)


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SAG, AFTRA Members Approve Merger to Form SAG-AFTRA

LOS ANGELES (March 30, 2012) — The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Screen Actors Guild are pleased to announce that members of both organizations have overwhelmingly voted to approve a merger, creating a new entity, SAG-AFTRA. SAG members voted 82 percent in favor of the merger. AFTRA members favored the merger with 86 percent, exceeding the 60 percent threshold needed for both unions’ membership for passage.

The merger is effective immediately, and brings under a single union banner more than 150,000 actors, announcers, broadcasters journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals. Their work can be seen and heard in theaters, on television and radio, sound recordings, the Internet, games, mobile devices and home video.

“With this historic vote, members of both unions have affirmed one of the most basic principles of unionism: Together we are stronger,” said SAG-AFTRA National Co-President Ken Howard. “This merger, the result of months – really years – of planning, brings together the best elements of both unions and positions us well to thrive in the changing 21st-century media landscape.”

“The merger of these two unions is a huge victory for our members, and it is a monumental achievement for the labor movement,” said SAG-AFTRA National Co-President Roberta Reardon. “As this vote today proves, great and transformative things are possible when working Americans stand together and shape their collective destiny through their union. I applaud every member who voted, and invite all members, locally and nationally, to join with us in building a successor union worthy of AFTRA and SAG.”

In July 2010, Reardon and Howard, as presidents of AFTRA and SAG respectively, created the Presidents’ Forum for One Union to facilitate focused and informed discussions between leaders of the two unions and their members to establish a common vision for a single, new national union.

The forum included a nationwide Listening Tour, in which Howard and Reardon traveled to cities across the country to connect with members and solicit their feedback for a possible merger. They received an overwhelmingly positive response.

In June 2011, elected member leaders from both unions formed the Group for One Union — known as G1 — which subsequently created workgroups to focus on key areas such as governance, collective bargaining and operations for the proposed new union. In late January, the National Boards of AFTRA and SAG overwhelmingly voted to send the merger package to members for ratification.

The following are results for both unions:

SAG:
105,368 number of ballots mailed.
81.9 percent yes votes
53 percent returned

AFTRA:
65,744 number of ballots mailed.
86.18 percent of yes votes
51.7 percent returned
Follow SAG-AFTRA on Twitter (twitter.com/sagaftra) and Facebook (facebook.com/sagaftra)

About SAG-AFTRA
SAG-AFTRA represents more than 150,000 represents actors, announcers, broadcasters journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the world. With national offices in Los Angeles and New York, and local offices nationwide, SAG-AFTRA members work together to secure the strongest protections for media artists into the 21st century and beyond. Visit SAG-AFTRA online at SAGAFTRA.org.

YES!



YES!

It’s official — merger is approved. As Ken Howard and Roberta Reardon just announced, “SAG-AFTRA is born.” Howard continued, “This is the day that members have chosen the path of unity and strength.”

SAG:    82%  for Merger,    18%  Against.
AFTRA:   86%  for merger,  14% Against.
Of ballots mailed, SAG members returned 53% (over 55,000 voting) and AFTRA members returned 57% (over 37,000 voting).
Our work here is done.
Our real work is just beginning.
Congratulations to the members of SAG-AFTRA. We’re looking forward to a long, bright future.
OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:
SAG, AFTRA Members Approve Merger to Form SAG-AFTRA
LOS ANGELES (March 30, 2012) — The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Screen Actors Guild are pleased to announce that members of both organizations have overwhelmingly voted to approve a merger, creating a new entity, SAG-AFTRA. SAG members voted 82 percent in favor of the merger. AFTRA members favored the merger with 86 percent, exceeding the 60 percent threshold needed for both unions’ membership for passage.

The merger is effective immediately, and brings under a single union banner more than 150,000 actors, announcers, broadcasters journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals. Their work can be seen and heard in theaters, on television and radio, sound recordings, the Internet, games, mobile devices and home video.

“With this historic vote, members of both unions have affirmed one of the most basic principles of unionism: Together we are stronger,” said SAG-AFTRA National Co-President Ken Howard. “This merger, the result of months – really years – of planning, brings together the best elements of both unions and positions us well to thrive in the changing 21st-century media landscape.”

“The merger of these two unions is a huge victory for our members, and it is a monumental achievement for the labor movement,” said SAG-AFTRA National Co-President Roberta Reardon. “As this vote today proves, great and transformative things are possible when working Americans stand together and shape their collective destiny through their union. I applaud every member who voted, and invite all members, locally and nationally, to join with us in building a successor union worthy of AFTRA and SAG.”

In July 2010, Reardon and Howard, as presidents of AFTRA and SAG respectively, created the Presidents’ Forum for One Union to facilitate focused and informed discussions between leaders of the two unions and their members to establish a common vision for a single, new national union.

The forum included a nationwide Listening Tour, in which Howard and Reardon traveled to cities across the country to connect with members and solicit their feedback for a possible merger. They received an overwhelmingly positive response.

In June 2011, elected member leaders from both unions formed the Group for One Union — known as G1 — which subsequently created workgroups to focus on key areas such as governance, collective bargaining and operations for the proposed new union. In late January, the National Boards of AFTRA and SAG overwhelmingly voted to send the merger package to members for ratification.

The following are results for both unions:
  • SAG:
    105,368 number of ballots mailed.
    81.9 percent yes votes
    53 percent returned
  • AFTRA:
    65,744 number of ballots mailed.
    86.18 percent of yes votes
    51.7 percent returned
Click here to download a color hi-res SAG-AFTRA logo.
Click here to download a black and white hi-res SAG-AFTRA logo.
Follow SAG-AFTRA on Twitter (twitter.com/sagaftra) and Facebook (facebook.com/sagaftra)

About SAG-AFTRA
SAG-AFTRA represents more than 150,000 represents actors, announcers, broadcasters journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the world. With national offices in Los Angeles and New York, and local offices nationwide, SAG-AFTRA members work together to secure the strongest protections for media artists into the 21st century and beyond. Visit SAG-AFTRA online at SAGAFTRA.org.

WHAT HAPPENS NOW:
Now that both SAG members and AFTRA members have approved the New Union referendum, here is a rundown of some key facts about what’s coming up for SAG-AFTRA members.

1. When is merger effective?
Under section I.D. of the Merger Agreement, it becomes effective upon ratification by the members. Thus, the new union is now in existence.

2. What happens to existing contracts and bargaining?
Under section III of the Merger Agreement, SAG-AFTRA immediately assumes all bargaining responsibilities and all existing contracts of SAG and AFTRA.

3. Who is in charge now?
Section IV of the Merger Agreement creates a transitional governance arrangement that is effective now. Section IV.A provides for an Initial National Board, composed of existing National Board members from the two predecessor unions plus certain others. Section IV.B takes the respective current SAG and AFTRA President and Secretary-Treasurer and makes them co-Presidents and co-Secretary-Treasurers. Existing Vice-Presidents from the new unions, along with certain additional Vice Presidents to be appointed to represent specialty areas, will continue in office under an interleaved hierarchy. Section V provides that the current National Executive Directors of SAG and AFTRA will become co-Executive Directors.

4. When will the first elections for national officers and board members be held?
Some time in mid-2013 (next year, in other words). The specific timing and logistics will be hammered out by the initial leadership, in connection with the Convention provided for in section VII of the Merger Agreement, and in accordance with the provisions of sections VIII and IX of the Merger Agreement.

5. What about dues billing?
According to today’s press conference, members will receive a single bill in the very near future.
There is obviously much more detail set out in the Merger Agreement, but these key points may be helpful as an initial update.

Reportage from The Hollywood Reporter. The Wrap. Variety. Los Angeles Times.

Above From SAG-WATCH (sagwatch.net)

SAG/AFTRA actors unions merge into 1

From 89.3 KPCC Public Radio

March 30, 2012 | By Shirley Jahad with Mike Roe
SAG/AFTRA unite Union members erupt in applause after the overwhelming vote to merge the SAG and AFTRA unions was announced.
The final act in the drama over whether the two big actors unions SAG and AFTRA would merge played out Friday, with the two unions' members voting for them to join together.
The announcement came half an hour late, with spokespeople saying they were running behind, but when the moment of truth came, SAG and AFTRA members chose to become one union. Over 6,000 watched the announcement play out online in the live streaming video, with the presidents of both unions announcing the merger together.
"In a single day, our future has become brighter," SAG President Ken Howard said.
The AFTRA votes were announced first by AFTRA President Roberta Reardon, with 86 percent of AFTRA voting members voting in favor of the merger. SAG was announced next by SAG President Howard (who you may know as executive Hank Hooper on "30 Rock"), with 82 percent of SAG members voting in favor of the merger. Each exceeded the 60 percent needed for approval. Over 37,500 AFTRA members voted and over 55,000 SAG members voted.
"Many of our friends in the labor union are watching across the country and joining with us today in celebrating this moment," said Reardon. She added that that "there is power in a union."
The Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists together have about 150,000 members. The presidents of SAG and AFTRA now become co-presidents of the new merged union.
Supporters of the merger have said it comes down to strength in numbers, especially in a rapidly changing media landscape.
Opponents include actor Martin Sheen and former SAG president Ed Asner. They say the merger isn’t a bad idea, but they say this plan hurts the SAG pension and health benefits, as Asner explains in a video urging actors to vote no.
“I'm not speaking against the merger at some future time, but this one sucks," Asner says.
Opponents went to court to try and stop the vote, saying SAG failed to adequately study how the merger would impact health and pension benefits. A federal judge this week threw out the case, saying it's not in the purview of the court.

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