SAG AFTRA Merger–Don’t Know, Vote NO
The establishment of the SAG–AFTRA, “One Union” merger have been pulling out all of the stops during this attempt of guild blending. Well, by “all of the stops”, I mean they are parading celebrity pleas for “YES” votes and ignoring critical questions. I had questions and was directed to call or email the people at www.sagaftra.org. It’s been weeks with multiple attempts and I still have no response.
They’ve held online meetings, one of which I viewed, and in person meetings and they’ve sent out slick mailers, but have failed to answer any of the questions that I’ve had. It was extremely frustrating not being heard by the people purporting to represent my interests.
THEN I see SAG-AFTRA post this Lewis Black rant:
Besides being another celebrity who has NONE of the same needs that I have, this is just downright insulting. Those of us who dare question this merger need to “think for once”? The ONLY thing funny about this clip is that he rails on people for clinging to a slogan but only really offers slogans in return. Oh yeah, he gives the “guy working on two cartoons at once” scenario, because that happens to a majority of the membership on a regular basis. Other than that, he’s just spewing establishment talking points, in a really loud voice.
There are lots of things that I Don’t Know about this proposed merger and that’s why I’m leaning towards no. Here are the major ones:
- I Don’t Know what is going to happen to pension and health benefits. I know the establishment line is that you can’t lose any of your current pension. BIG DEAL. They can change the vesting rules so that only rich, funny guys like Lewis will qualify, even though the rest of us peasants pay into the system. It could be a sweet deal for them moving forward. Medical coverage is the same way. If they raise the minimum earnings to qualify for coverage while ALL of us contribute, it can only benefit ALL of the recognizable faces they keep shoving in your faces pleading with you to vote “YES”.
- I Don’t Know what will happen to the self-production friendly “New Media” contracts. Why? Because they won’t answer my question. Not all of us have HBO willing to air our loud, staccato rants on TV, so we need other outlets, like YouTube. Those of us who have chosen to abide by Global Rule One, need to know if these contracts will survive the merger since the now all powerful union doesn’t have to compete with anyone. They could…without a member vote…strike down these useful contracts.
- I Don’t Know why, when actors are going to still have to live under Global Rule One (working only on union project) that broadcasters and journalists are free to work non-union. I’ve been told for years that Global Rule One is a pillar of our strength. How strong will we be when our own fellow members can walk right by our picket line and go to work and be within the rules?
- I Don’t Know why, when actors are the majority of both membership and revenue that we will not have a representative majority on the new board. Seems a little democratically “off” to me.
- I Don’t Know how a single union can represent the interests of Celebs, Extras, Day Players, Radio DJs, News Anchors, Reporters, etc. In a perfect world, we would have one organization for performers and another for personalities and if you needed to, you could belong to the one or both. For now, I feel like this super union will have more leverage on ME than they do the big bad studios they’re always trying to scare me about.
I’m sorry, Mr. Black, but just because you’re loud and talk down to me, it doesn’t make you right. It is a legitimate claim to want to know things before approving them. It is probable that the reason I don’t know these details is because no one “in the know” is willing to talk about them. It is my experience that if there is something to hide, someone will hide it. If the SAG-AFTRA “One Union” merger is so amazing, why don’t you take your condescending rant to them about answering the questions? Until then…
If I Don’t Know, I Vote No
Posted on March 20, 2012, in Acting & Entertainment and tagged acting, AFTRA, American Federation of Television & Radio Artists, Lewis Black, Merger, ONEUNION, SAG, SAG-AFTRA, Screen Actors Guild. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.