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Gordon tells SAG to cool it

Ex-prez supports union merger

HOLLYWOOD — Former SAG prexy Barry Gordon has asked fellow performers to cool off in the heated battle over combining SAG and AFTRA.

Gordon, who served as president between 1988 and 1995 and supports the “consolidation” plan, made the plea in an open letter to members. Thesp ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat for Congress in 1998.

“As one who fought and survived three political campaigns — real campaigns, not guild ones — I continue to speak out on the way the electoral process has deteriorated in our country,” Gordon said. “When I do so, I am told that the simple truth is negative campaigning works.”

Results of the current vote will be announced July 1. Proponents argue the combined union will increase bargaining clout and solve jurisdictional issues; opponents contend the new bureaucracy will be less responsive to the needs of actors.

“No matter what the vote is on consolidation, we are going to need each other to either build a consolidated union we can take pride in, or to seek other solutions to the ongoing jurisdictional battles between the two unions that currently exist,” Gordon said. “So let’s continue the fight with honor and the knowledge that there are no ‘bad guys’ here. Our members deserve nothing less.”

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