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SAG-AFTRA Likely to Merge

The two actors’ unions may soon merge, pending ratification of their memberships.

The board of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, with more than 70,000 members, voted Saturday to merge with the Screen Actors Guild, the dominant union with a membership of about 125,000 members.

AFTRA’s national board, in New York City and Los Angeles, met via video conference to vote on the merger package, which included a constitution, a dues structure and a proposed name for the new union — SAG-AFTRA, Leslie Simmons of AFTRA said. The board voted to recommend the merger, pending ratification by the two unions’ membership. Ballots are expected to be sent to members in the next few weeks.

On Friday, SAG’s board voted to merge with AFTRA. At tonight’s SAG Awards, look for an announcement about the pending marriage.

The two unions, which have been working on a merger for several years, have about 40,000 members in common. The combined union would be the largest in Hollywood.

Aside from movie and television actors, AFTRA also represents broadcasters, singers, dancers and talk show hosts.

Ballots on the Network Television Code will be sent out Monday with a return date of Feb. 22, Simmons said. The Network Television Code contract covers programs such as “Good Morning America,” “The View,” “The Voice,” “The Young and the Restless,” “Saturday Night Live,” “Nightline,” “Dancing with the Stars,” and “Late Night with David Letterman.”

Copyright © 2012 City News Service

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