News Article

AFTRA Divorces SAG for Contract Talks

The bitter back-and-forth between the two actors unions took a surprising turn on Satuday when AFTRA voted to enter contract talks with the AMPTP alone

(FROM HOLLYWOOD REPORTER) – The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists' national board of directors voted on Saturday (March 29) to suspend its joint bargaining agreement with the Screen Actors Guild and negotiate its primetime TV contract alone with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The two actors’ entities have a 27-year-old agreement to negotiate their TV and film contracts together as a leveraging tactic, but the relationship has soured over the last year or so after SAG's Hollywood contingent pushed to end the 50/50 voting arrangement for their joint negotiating committee. Still, in February, the two sides announced that they'd put aside their differences and committed to negotiating jointly; they met last week to put together a joint proposal package for the upcoming talks with AMPTP. Reports coming out of meetings said things were going well, making the divorce over the weekend rather unexpected.

AFTRA president Roberta Reardon blamed SAG leadership for the split, claiming a ''relentless campaign of disinformation and disparagement'' had shaken AFTRA's confidence in SAG's ''ability to live up to the principles of partnership and union solidarity.'' SAG president Alan Rosenberg called said the move is ''calculated, cynical, and may serve the interests of their institution, but not its members.'' Rosenberg added that SAG ''spent weeks working with our fellow actors in AFTRA on joint proposals to improve the lives of all working actors.'' Talks between the actors unions and the AMPTP could start as soon as this week. (Hollywood Reporter)

Originally posted Mar 31, 2008
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