In the category of “you can’t make this stuff up,” AFTRA President Roberta Reardon reportedly told a roomful of SAG members at SAG headquarters in Los Angeles last night that her union could help SAG members sneak around a picket line of striking AFTRA members if the two unions merge.
The question came in response to a question from long time SAG leader Anne Marie Johnson who asked whether if SAG merges with AFTRA and AFTRA newscasters went on strike at, for example, NBC, actors working a show at NBC would be forced to cross the newscasters’ picket line.
Perhaps as shocking, none of the pro-merger SAG leaders on the stage objected to Sister Reardon’s comments. This is particularly disturbing in light of SAG’s stronger policy supporting union solidarity. SAG’s Global Rule One requires all principal actors in SAG to refuse to work on any production where the producer is not a signatory to a SAG contract. The union can punish members who violate the rule, and it has. AFTRA, on the other hand, is notorious for allowing openly prominent members like Brian Williams to work at non-union sites, like MSNBC without any consequences.
Roberta Reardon is a member of the AFL-CIO’s national Executive Council. The phone number of the AFL-CIO is 202-637-5000. Perhaps AFL-CIO President Trumka would like to know what is going on out in LA.
On second thought, maybe not.