Effective immediately, the new SAG-AFTRA becomes the largest union in the entertainment industry and will represent more than 150,000 actors, broadcasters, dancers, news writers and other media professionals.
SAG (Screen Actors Guild) members voted 82% in favour and their AFTRA (American Federation Of Television And Radio Artists) counterparts voted 86% for the merger. There was a 60% threshold for both unions to carry the vote.
“With this historic vote, members of both unions have affirmed one of the most basic principles of unionism: Together we are stronger,” SAG-AFTRA national co-president Ken 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.”
“The merger of these two unions is a huge victory for our members, and it is a monumental achievement for the labor movement,” SAG-AFTRA national co-president Roberta Reardon said. “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 respective presidents of AFTRA and SAG, created the Presidents’ Forum for One Union and urged members to unify the two bodies.