You don't have to speak with the agency national directors of both SAG and AFTRA to understand how the impending merger between the two unions grows more intense with each passing day. The ballots are scheduled to be counted on March 16, 2012. The last time this effort was made by both unions in 2003, AFTRA members overwhelmingly chose to merge the unions. However, SAG members fell only a few hundred votes short of pushing the merger through, which stopped the merger in it's tracks.
Are you a SAG or AFTRA member? Have you submitted your ballot? Zino Macaluso stressed to me this morning that although there is a lot of positive talk around the benefits of having only one union, there is enough opposition that the chances of this merger not passing needs to be considered.
Union members who receive a ballot from their respective union NEED to return their ballot so that their voices can be heard! Research from the failed merger in 2003 show that members who did not return their ballot within FOUR days never registered a vote. Their opinions were not heard, and more importantly, their silence may have caused the ability of the union to negotiate strong rates for the talent since 2003 to suffer.
If you have questions about what one union will look like . . . questions about the benefits and strength in having only one union . . . or fears that it might change your dues or healthcare, log onto www.sagaftra.org. It is the ONLY site that is regularly updated with accurate information on what one union will look like if it is passed by the members. Get answers and make your voice heard!
What are your thoughts about the merger? Are you for it . . . against it? Why?