AFTRA and IATSE have begun working more closely together.
The two unions announced Thursday that their newly minted strategic alliance committees have held two days of meetings earlier this week.
It’s the first confab AFTRA and IATSE held since their July announcement that they would work to explore opportunities for cooperation and a closer strategic alliance, such as unionizing non-union productions.
The unions described the discussions as “enlightening and productive” and declared that the alliance has “tremendous potential.”
“We shared information on our respective organizational structures, governing documents, collective bargaining agreements, and communications tools to better understand the workings of each union,” the statement said. “We also examined our common areas of employment, and challenges and opportunities for organizing new work and maintaining a stable union presence in the media and entertainment sectors.”
Both unions noted they cover IATSE and AFTRA include TV news, sports, and entertainment programming, music video and television commercial production, basic cable programming, internet, and new media. The next meeting of the committees is scheduled for Dec. 3.
The American Federation of Television & Radio Artists has about 70,000 actors, broadcasters and musicians as members. The Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees has more than 100,000 below-the-line members.
The partnering has come amid increased tensions between AFTRA and SAG, which has been pressuring AFTRA for signing TV deals at less favorable terms in areas of joint coverage.
For its part, AFTRA’s seeking a direct affiliation with the AFL-CIO and end its longtime affiliation with the Associated Actors and Artistes of America, an umbrella org that belongs to the AFL-CIO and includes the Screen Actors Guild and Actors Equity.