AFTRA has decided it is time to have its own seat on the AFL-CIO executive council and it looks like it is going to get one, according to this report on the union’s convention in Philadelphia. To get the seat AFTRA is breaking ranks with S.A.G. in the so-called 4A’s (Associated Actors and Artistes of America), the century old organization of key talent unions, including Actors Equity. While that probably means any push by the AFL-CIO for a merger with S.A.G. is less likely, it also means that AFTRA has its own seat at the table of organized labor next to that held by S.A.G. President Alan Rosenberg and IATSE’s Tommy Short. This could lead to more aggressive organizing as well as a more important role in the new Industry Coordinating Committee for Arts and Entertainment unions formed by the AFL-CIO last year.
Here is how AFTRA President Roberta Reardon explained the move for independence:
“As we look at the 21st century media industry, we see that significant parts of our membership can be more fully served by direct affiliation with the AFL-CIO,” Reardon said. “This is a move that honors AFTRA’s diverse jurisdictions covering performers, broadcasters and recording artists. With our own seat at the table of labor, AFTRA can begin to explore the many opportunities for strategic alliances with other media unions that are not part of the 4As.”
One view of this development can be found at *alert AFTRA Bombshell: They are leaving the Four A’s !!