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AFTRA Talks Up AFL-CIO Merger

LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — An effort by the leadership of the actors union AFTRA to affiliate with the union giant AFL-CIO seems to be bearing fruit, according to a report in Variety.

The possible merger would give AFTRA room to withdraw from the Associated Actors and Artistes of America, which has it partnered with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). The two actors unions have been feuding over a number of issues, particularly' AFTRA's efforts to act unilaterally in regards to negotiating lower-paying contracts for new television shows shot exclusively in digital format.

"Directly affiliating with the AFL-CIO would place AFTRA as an independent and autonomous union within the Federation, with all of the rights and responsibilities of other direct affiliates and with complete control of our own destiny in determining our relationships, partnerships, and alliances with other unions affiliated with the AFL-CIO." said Roberta Reardon, AFTRA's president.

It may not be entirely smooth sailing for the AFTRA, AFL-CIO merger. SAG president Alan Rosenberg has reportedly voiced concerns about the deal and stated that AFL-CIO has requested a recommendation on the issue from AAAA, a request that would seem to be potentially nettlesome for the defecting AFTRA. "No decision has been made to grant the request for a direct affiliation charter and to suggest otherwise is misleading," Rosenberg noted. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers