AFTRA dissidents add five to board

Incumbents win most of open slots in rerun

Incumbents won most of the open slots and a dissident faction picked up five seats in a federally supervised election rerun for the Los Angeles branch of AFTRA, which announced its results Wednesday.

The branch announced in December that it was rerunning the election for 22 slots due to errors in the mailing and processing of ballots. Move came after investigations by the local and the Dept. of Labor, which resulted from a challenge by a candidate in last May’s election; the same candidate ran in this contest.

National board members from Los Angeles re-elected include actors Bonnie Bartlett, Patrika Darbo, Frances Fisher, Jason George, Sumi Haru and Bill Ratner; dancer Sharon Ferguson; and singers Linda Harmon, Jon Joyce and Dan Navarro. Actors Jeff Austin and Paul Napier and stuntwoman Jane Austen were also elected.

Austen, Austin, Bartlett, Fisher, Haru and Napier ran as part of the AFTRA Artists slate, campaigning on a platform that AFTRA needs to stop signing deals for cable shows with provisions for free reruns and only sign deals that are equivalent to SAG’s. AFTRA has long contended that if the shows are shot on digital, either union can go after the program since that area has never been defined, and that AFTRA should make these deals with cable nets to avoid producers going non-union.

Re-elected to three-year terms on the Los Angeles local board were actors Lori Alan, Audrey Baranishyn, Matthew Kimbrough, Robert Pine and Bill Ratner. AFTRA Artist reps Steve Barr and Carole Elliott were newly elected.

AFTRA recently split with SAG over joint bargaining, accusing SAG leaders of being untrustworthy amid decertification efforts by actors on “The Bold and the Beautiful.”

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