The boys and girls in the acting community are finally doing what they should have done a long time ago:
The AFTRA board of directors Saturday approved a proposed merger with SAG, triggering a membership vote that could unite the unions by the end of March into a single union, to be called SAG-AFTRA. The move was expected and came a day after SAG’s board passed a similar motion.
The proposal, which includes a Merger Agreement and Constitution, was approved 94% to 6%. ...
[T]he proposal will be sent to the two unions’ membership for a vote on or about February 27, with a ballot return and tabulation deadline of March 3 ...
SAG and AFTRA came close to merger in 2003, but SAG couldn't close the deal because it fell 2% short of getting the required 60% approval. (A few old SAG officers were in the forefront against merger, and carried the day.) At the time, an IA officer said:
"I don't know what these people are thinking. SAG is losing the work, shooting on film is going away, and AFTRA is eating the Screen Actors Guild lunch. Funny thing, but actors -- like everybody else -- follow the work, not the union. This is not a good move."
Apparently, nine years later, SAG agrees and is changing course. And many of the dinosaurs who opposed a merger back in 2003 are now out of power, retired, or no longer among the living. So this time, a merger will likely go through. (It certainly seems the right move, but I guess we'll see.)