AFTRA aiming for equal footing

Deal with AFL-CIO moving forward

The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists has moved forward on its attempt to become a direct affiliate of the AFL-CIO.

AFTRA’s effort is part of an effort to put itself on equal footing with other unions by withdrawing from another labor org — the Associated Actors and Artistes of America, on which it’s partnered with SAG and other entertainment unions.

AFTRA and SAG have been battling over AFTRA’s efforts to sign TV shows shot on digital — an area of joint jurisdiction — to lower-paying contracts.

AFTRA announced Sunday that the AFL-CIO executive council had granted authority to AFL-CIO President John Sweeney to issue a direct charter to AFTRA once details are finalized such as examining the impact of such a move on the Associated Actors and Artistes of America.

“Direct affiliation will put AFTRA members on equal footing with other workers in the entertainment and media unions with whom AFTRA members share common interests for organizing and negotiating stronger contracts with large national and multinational corporations,” said AFTRA president Roberta Reardon.

SAG prexy Alan Rosenberg took issue with AFTRA’s announcement, noting that he had raised concerns about AFTRA’s request and that the AFL-CIO council has asked the Associated Actors and Artistes of America to issue a recommendation on the issue. “No decision has been made to grant the request for a direct affiliation charter and to suggest otherwise is misleading,” he added.

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