Union offices attempt to reopen for business

Some Gotham guilds still closed on Wednesday

HOLLYWOOD — Showbiz union offices began resuming operations Wednesday, a day after closing in the wake of devastating terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

Gotham operations for the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists and the Writers Guild of America were staffed while New York offices for the Screen Actors Guild, Actors Equity, the Directors Guild of America and the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees remained shuttered. SAG plans to reopen its Times Square facilities this morning and AFTRA will reopen its Washington office.

AFTRA prexy John Connolly said the New York office, which operated Wednesday with a skeleton staff, had been opened to support broadcast members working amid unprecedented stress.

“I felt a quiet pride in our radio and TV broadcast members who delivered news calmly and accurately under deeply unnerving conditions, especially the people in New York and at the Pentagon.”

Blood drives

Connolly noted that 1st VP Bob Edwards, host of National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” helped provide temporary facilities for WNYC after its operations were damaged. He also said AFTRA leaders have started work with other unions to organize entertainment industry blood drives in Gotham and Hollywood.

In Hollywood, offices for SAG, the WGA, the DGA and AFTRA reopened Wednesday, but execs reported business was significantly slower than normal. The directors guild has canceled a national board meeting set for Saturday.

SAG announced a two-day extension of the deadline for election petitions for Hollywood and New York until 5 p.m. Friday. New national exec director A. Robert Pisano met Wednesday afternoon with staff in an introductory session.

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