When you check your ballot information accompanying AFTRA’s Exhibit “A” referendum ballot, you’ll read the following.
It is obvious to the Ol’ Dog that the inclusion of the caveat stating that a NO VOTE IS TO AUTHORIZE A STRIKE is included to scare members into thinking that there will, most likely, be a strike if they vote against the contract.
Only, one little problem with AFTRA’s little ploy, and that is that, as stated, it violates AFTRA’s Constitution.
There are certain perimeters, for work stoppages, set in the AFTRA constitution for members voting in a referendum, other than jointly bargained contracts.
In regards to such actions, the AFTRA Constitution sets a standard that clearly states that it takes two-thirds of the members voting in referendum to okay any work stoppages; Article XI, states that no such order of the board shall be issued unless such order shall be concurredby two-third (2/3) of those of the members who vote thereon in a mail referendum vote ordered by the National Board under rules and regulations prescribed by it!”
Do I detect a referendum challenge here? You know, it ain’t nice to lie to the membership, in one of these things, ah, the feds don’t take nicely to any irregularities–as AFTRA discovered when they were forced by the DOL to rerun one of their recent elections because of violations.
Oh, remember how AFTRA bragged about it being a cooperative effort between them and the DOL in actuating that rerunah, well, in all that cooperating with the DOL AFTRA managed to spend $50,000 of members dues dollars in attorney fees.
Oh, one other little problem, that may come back to bite AFTRA’s Leadership in the ass, is their free and easy way with their constitution, in regards to another matter.
Under jointly negotiated collective bargaining agreements, AFTRA’s constitution, Article XII sets no caveats as to which members can vote on the agreement.
However, since Exhibit “A” is no longer jointly negotiated under Phase One, it falls under Article XIII of the AFTRA Constitution. The fact that AFTRA is sending this actors contract, out to all its members, including those who don’t, or have never, worked it (Members such as D.J.’s, newsmen, weathermen and other broadcasters) violates AFTRA’s Constitution.
AFTRA Constitution Article XIII (Ratification All Other National Collective Bargaining Agreements, Contracts or Codes)
Now, if any of these Disc Jockeys, news anchors, correspondents, weahtermen, or other broadcasters have pursued, or worked, this contract, certainly they would be affected members. But, on the other hand, if they have never, and this would apply to most of them, worked this contract, they certainly wouldn’t qualify as members affected by this agreement.
Therefore, if they are being allowed to vote on a contract that doesn’t affect them, it would be a violation of the AFTRA Constitution, and therefore a violation, subject to challenge with the Department of Labor leadership. (To put this in proper perspective, actors are not allowed to vote on broadcasters contracts.)
But then no one should be surprised by AFTRA’s disregard for its constitution; any leadership which refuses to let its own members verify its referendum results, or look at the contracts that they work under, certainly isn’t concerned about a couple of constitutional violations, ah that is, until it, once again, is forced to cooperate with the DOL!
A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief
So, Tom Hanks, who has the same PR Firm that represents AFTRA, and Tom Hanks who is a producer that took his productions like “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” to Canada, and “Band of Brothers” abroad, to avoid making them SAG productions, is supporting a contract that will put money in his pockets, at the expense of actors, is in favor of the AFTRA Contract.
Yet, another reason to Vote NO!
Remember, actors, a NO Vote on the AFTRA Exhibit A “Deal,” is a YES vote for your future ability to make a living.