Guess who is speaking out of both sides of her mouth as she rationalizes AFTRA’s reasons for declaring war on SAG by terminating Phase One !??
What follows is AFTRA’s Dissembling Diva National President Roberta Reardon on why AFTRA Terminated Phase One! I have added a few, ah, clarifications.
March 28, 2008
Dear AFTRA Member,
AFTRA’s primary goal is to improve and protect the working lives of performers. During the past year, AFTRA has fought hard and expended an enormous amount of time, energy and resources to maintain the integrity of our Phase One joint bargaining process with the Screen Actors Guild, so we could sit across the table from the industry with total and unequivocal unity.
Actually what she meant to say was total and unequivocal unity with her USAN/Branch SAG board operatives to have total and unequivocal control over SAG’s Primetime TV/Theatrical negotiations even though AFTRA only has three of the hundreds negotiate.
Unfortunately, SAG leadership has made this impossible. For the past year SAG leadership in Hollywood has engaged in a relentless campaign of disinformation and disparagement, culminating in a recent attempt to decertify a AFTRA daytime soap opera.
SAG engages in a campaign of disinformation and disparagement? This coming from a leadership that poached shows behind SAG’s back by undercutting their contracts. This from a leadership that uses a dissembling doctrine of half-truths, and obfuscation on its own members. Let’s get this straight! A couple of Soap Actress, both SAG members, request and get a meeting with SAG NED Doug Allen in which they express their intention of decertifying AFTRA and go with SAG. At which time Mr. Allen tells them they should talk with AFTRA: And that’s poaching? AFTRA has not even bothered to challenge the chain of events. Working under the theory that if you tell a lie enough times people will believe it, Roberta and her pals have simply started making unsubstantiated allegations! If Ms. Reardon has any proof to back their charges that the Screen Actors Guild had any hand in this why doesn’t she display it.
AFTRA recently became aware that leaders of SAG have involved themselves in a campaign to encourage cast members on the CBS daytime drama “The Bold and the Beautiful” to decertify AFTRA as their union.
AFTRA has known about the “Bold’s” cast desire to decertify AFTRA for sometime, and still strung SAG along pretending that they would be SAG’s Phase One partners. It wasn’t until the Joint board plenary that they marched in stood on the stage announced their betrayal and then marched out. If you think that this whole AFTRA charade was not planned ahead of time, I’ve got some tickets to Presidential candidate Ralph Nader’s Inaugural that I can let you have real cheap.
The people leading this drive apparently believe that decertifying AFTRA would further the goal of having one union for all actors. In fact, it would do the opposite. If successful, it would leave the performers on “The Bold and the Beautiful” stripped of any union representation and uncovered by any union contract.
There is no labor law that would prohibit decertifying from one union and going to another. Now, the AFL-CIO’s John Sweeny may try and block it, but, then, as more SAG board members are beginning to realize, there is nothing to stop SAG from exiting the AFL-CIO and going it alone, or, ah, say joining another organization, ah, you know like the Teamsters. Let’s see, we give the AFL-CIO hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, and what did they do for us during the last strike? Why they sent us a couple of organizational reps. On the other hand can you imagine if we belonged to the teamsters, and none of those trucks would cross the picket line. Hey, that would put a smile on the AMPTP’s Nick Counter’s and MPAA’s Pisano’s faces.
This situation is sadly not surprising given SAG Hollywood leadership’s ongoing campaign of misinformation to disparage AFTRA.
Now that’s funny, considering the all-out campaign of “lies by omission” coming out of AFTRA lately
The truth is that the existing AFTRA contract for daytime series provides players with strong provisions regarding crediting, overtime rates, and vacation days. Year after year, AFTRA has consistently won raises and improvements for daytime playersdespite the efforts of networks and producers to cut costs at daytime serials. A vote to decertify would strip the cast of “The Bold and the Beautiful” of all these hard-fought gains. To achieve anything close to what the AFTRA contract offers, the cast would have to negotiate from scratchperhaps even strikewithout the support of performers covered by the Network TV Code.
More misinformation from Ms. Reardon. I would argue that the cast negotiating on its own, could do better than the AFTRA “Performance” rate for (five lines or less) for TWO DAYS of $538 dollars! The SAG “Day” rate for two days would be almost triple, $1518 dollars.
The involvement of SAG leaders in the effort to remove AFTRA from a show covered by an AFTRA contract violates all norms of union solidarity.
She keeps throwing this crap against the wall, but has of yet not offered one scintilla of evidence to support her unsubstantiated allegations. On the other hand, there is, however, substantiation that AFTRA’s Leaders raided a producer of the hit SAG show “That’s So Raven,” by offering the producer a cut-rate contract with residual giveaways for “Corey In The House,” without even bothering to inform the cast of what they had done. (They only learned when they failed to receive residuals) You can read Disney’s “It’s a Laugh” Productions contract along with those for AFTRA’s “Army Wives” and “Dirt” contracts by clicking the following link.
.But this most recent situation, along with the continued and ongoing behavior by SAG Hollywood leadership, which harms all working performers and the labor movement, forced us to confront on the eve of negotiations the very painful question: how could we sit beside SAG at the bargaining table at the same time that its leaders in Hollywood are conspiring to undermine the gains we’ve achieved for all performers?
I’d like to see Ms. Reardon address a large gathering of actors and tell them about all the gains AFTRA has gotten them by undercutting SAG contracts that had set the bar for dramatic cable shows.
AFTRA’s leadership believes that our union must devote its energies first and foremost to working on behalf of performers, and not waste any more time assessing whether our partner is being honest with us. With this in mind, the AFTRA National Board today voted overwhelmingly in favor of suspending Phase One, and negotiating the primetime television contract on our own. We are now prepared to move forward and negotiate a strong contract for our members as soon as possible.
translation: “Now that we have deceived SAG’s leadership into revealing what their contract demands will be, we will do what we do best, negotiate by undercutting.”
This action –suspension rather than termination — was taken with the understanding that many among SAG’s leadership are as troubled by the events that have led us to this point as we are, and in the hope that someday, the historic trust between these two organizations can be rebuilt in the best interests of all performers.
Talk about talking out of both sides of one’s mouth. By suspending the Phase One contract, AFTRA has breached it, therefore effectively terminated it. As to SAG’s troubled Leadership, they are the USAN/AFTRA operatives who act more like AFTRA board members than SAG board members.
AFTRA National President
To juxtapose Ms. Reardon’s statement. This from SAG President Alan Rosenberg. Now, the Ol’ Dog has frequently been critical of President Rosenberg, and will continue to be critical, if I think he is wrong, but after reading his statement I have nothing to add, except to say I think he nailed it!
My recommendations for current AFTRA election rerun are the following “AFTRA Artist” Candidates:
For the Actor AFTRA “Los Angeles” Board of Directors: Vote for only 3 candidates Steven Barr, Carole Elliott and Russell McConnell. All others are part of the current leadership that is responsible for AFTRA undercutting its own contracts with under par contracts with residual giveaways.
For the Actor AFTRA National Board of Directors: Vote for Bonnie Bartlett, Sumi Haru, and Carole Elliott!
For Stunt person: Jane Austin
For the “At-Large” category: Renee Aubry, Steven Barr, Anthony DeSantis, Frances Fisher, Peggy Miley, Jeff Austin, Paul Napier, David Sobolov, Russell McConnell. (REMEMBER, You can only vote for EIGHT!)
Now that AFTRA’s current leadership has terminated Phase One, it is more important than ever that there are AFTRA board members that will look out for actors interests.
YOUR VOTE COULD SAVE YOUR RESIDUALS
*Ballots must be received by April 15, 2008)