SAG, AFTRA Move Forward on Merger

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Leaders of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists have been courting each other for months. They are now ready to ask for permission to marry.

In a message sent to members of both unions Wednesday night, SAG and AFTRA announced that a joint body of union leaders had unanimously approved “draft resolutions for consideration by the unions’ respective national boards of directors” to advance the process of merging the two organizations. The resolutions include a proposed mission statement for the new successor union and a plan to create committees tasked with forming a timeline for the merger process. The resolutions were born out of a meeting of the joint Presidents’ Forum for One Union held April 2-3 in New York.

SAG will likely consider the resolutions at its next national board meeting, scheduled for April 30. AFTRA’s next national board meeting is set to take place May 14.

“Each step we take together brings us closer to our crucial goal of becoming one union, and last weekend’s meeting was no exception,” SAG president Ken Howard said in a written statement. “I look forward to sharing our work with the SAG-AFTRA Relations Task Force and, ultimately, the SAG national board later this month.”

“I am very proud of the strong partnership and clear vision that AFTRA and SAG members are forging together through this process,” added AFTRA president Roberta Reardon. “We have come a very long way in a short period of time, and I applaud each and every member who has participated in this exciting and important endeavor.”

Howard and Reardon have been engaged for the last few months in a “listening tour,” gathering member feedback on merger. That tour will continue, with future meetings planned for Washington, D.C. (where the union leaders will meet with members of AFTRA’s Broadcast Steering Committee), Boston, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. Additional meetings in New York and Los Angeles are also planned.