Howard, Reardon tout union in letter to members

The presidents of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists have made their first official push for the proposed SAG-AFTRA merger.

SAG National President Ken Howard and AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon sent a letter to members Sunday, touting the combo.

SAG’s board approved the deal Friday and AFTRA’s followed Saturday.

The letter featured the new “SAG AFTRA One Union” logo and said a pro-merger Web site would go live Friday. The missive arrived as the SAG Awards were about to take place at the Shrine Auditorium.

The letter:

Dear Member,

This weekend, the SAG and AFTRA National Boards took a decisive step to strengthen our future by overwhelmingly endorsing a plan to merge Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. If members approve the merger, the new union will be called SAG-AFTRA.

The vote of the unions’ National Boards came after more than a year of focused effort to hear from members about their needs for stronger union representation and to develop a merger plan to meet those needs. With the enthusiastic approval of our boards, the decision now rests in the hands of AFTrA and SAG members.

Merger referendum ballots are scheduled to be mailed on or about February 27th – but all members of both unions will have access to the complete merger documents within the next couple of days on the SAG and AFTRA websites. Full printed merger documents will also be mailed to each voter with the referendum ballot, which will be due for return on March 30th. This will give each member ample time to make a thoughtful and well-informed decision.

We’re also excited to announce that on Friday, February 3rd, we will launch a new joint website to provide members all the information they’ll want to consider before casting their votes. The website will include complete merger details, FAQs, and a comprehensive calendar of events to alert members nationwide to informational meetings and other opportunities for learning about the plan. Watch your email later this week for details of the website launch.

After more than a year of intensive work, we are extremely proud to bring you this historic opportunity. We also want to acknowledge the ceaseless dedication of the AFTRA and SAG members and staff who came together as the Group for One Union (G1) to produce this remarkable plan. We look forward to sharing all the details and answering any questions you may have. Finally, we are confident that SAG and AFTRA members will embrace this singular chance to harness the true power of unity, and that SAG-AFTRA will protect members and shape the entertainment and media industries for decades to come.

In unity,

Ken Howard

SAG National President

Roberta Reardon

AFTRA National President

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