What I like about this portrait of Reardon is the anecdote about bringing in rank and file AFTRA members like Kate Burton to explain actors’ concerns about clip use. It indicates a union leader who is not afraid of her own membership, a rarity in labor these days. It also adds a level of credibility to the negotiating team at the table. And most importantly, it appears to have worked, although I have noted here that the new media consent mechanism remains to be negotiated.
The greater visibility for Reardon – together with a solid achievement in the contract negotiations under tough and unexpected circumstances – will add to Reardon’s credibility at the AFL-CIO and may signal bigger things for the union in the entertainment industry.