SAG to Penalize FiCore Actors

In an effort to further crack down on actors who opt for Financial Core status, Screen Actors Guild officials could make it more difficult for FiCore members to officially join the union or bar them from becoming full SAG members entirely.

According to a report in Daily Variety, SAG national executive director Doug Allen and national director of organizing Todd Amorde indicated during a weekend membership meeting in Sherman Oaks, Calif., that FiCore members might not be allowed back into the union at all.

"It's going to be quite a bit more difficult to get back in, because resigning from the union is a conscious decision," Amorde told Variety. "It's been sort of a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy, but the board of directors has given us a directive to be much more stringent." He added, "What we're going to stress is that it may be your right under federal law to go FiCore, but it's not a good idea."

FiCore status allows members to resign from the guild while continuing to pay partial dues — withholding that portion set aside for lobbying — and work both union and nonunion jobs. The practice of opting for FiCore status is legal under the unions' Rule One and stems from a 1988 Supreme Court decision in Communication Workers of America v. Beck, which said union members have the right to declare such status.

However, in recent months, the union has been cracking down on members working nonunion jobs. In April, SAG national president Alan Rosenberg and other union staffers and board members staged a protest [http://www.backstage.com/bso/search/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003577484] outside an audition for a nonunion Mercedes-Benz commercial in West Hollywood, informing actors entering the audition of its nonunion status. They also distributed a flier that read, "Professionals do not work nonunion."