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Letters: Promoting SAG-AFTRA Merger

I want to add my voice to the growing number of Screen Actors Guild members who are supporting the SAG-AFTRA merger.

We were only 2% short of passage the last time around.

I wish to address my comments to the 2% that did not vote for [the merger] and the undecided that did not even bother sending back the ballot.

The current situation is that background actors in SAG like myself are just about getting one-day-type jobs each month at best, if not one day after three months of not working. The veto by Gov. Pataki which prevents tax relief to film companies that come to New York state to film here has hurt us for jobs again, notwithstanding the current economic situation. The post-Sept. 11 situation has hurt even more.

The solution is very simple and that is to support our SAG president, Melissa Gilbert, in her efforts to achieve the SAG-AFTRA merger so that we can speak with one voice more powerful than many separate voices when it comes to jobs we need so badly, and have management treat us with better respect [regarding] our working conditions and benefits.

It seems to me that the only SAG members opposed to this merger are the actors who work every week, fly to L.A. on regular casting jobs, and are afraid that they would have to share their thousands or millions of dollars with rank and file members of both unions.

Wake up, rank and file members, and help yourself to get more jobs for everyone and support your union's effort to merge SAG and AFTRA into one powerful voice.

Hank Eulau

New York City

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