LOS ANGELES AND TORONTO (March 9, 2017) – SAG-AFTRA and ACTRA, the leading unions for North American performers, today announced an expansion of their strategic alliance including the development of a joint plan to address non-union production in North America. Under the #WorkingTogether initiative the two unions will pool resources to promote the value of union work to employers and engagers while increasing work opportunities for members.
“As our industry changes and grows we see new opportunities for unions to organize and grow,” said ACTRA National President Ferne Downey. “More than 90% of film and television produced in North America is under a union agreement, but a growing number of commercials are shooting non-union. That lowers working standards for performers across North America.”
“Professional performers bring immense value to a production and it is crucial that they have strong union contracts protecting them,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris. “Globalization and technology change are issues affecting performers across North America. As the entertainment and media industry grows beyond traditional structures it is imperative that we respond.”
The initiative calls for cooperation between the two performer unions in ensuring employers live up to their commitment to produce only under a union agreement. Initial activities will include North American wide outreach, research and communications efforts to attract new signatory agencies by demonstrating the value of producing with union performers.
“Performers won’t tolerate a race to the bottom. Signatory agencies may have produced some of their commercials non-union in the recent past. ACTRA and SAG-AFTRA will work closely with signatory agencies to ensure all their future commercial production is under the appropriate union agreement,” said Downey.
SAG-AFTRA represents approximately 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other entertainment and media professionals. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the world. A proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO, SAG-AFTRA has national offices in Los Angeles and New York and local offices nationwide representing members working together to secure the strongest protections for entertainment and media artists into the 21st century and beyond. Visit SAG-AFTRA online at SAGAFTRA.org. Follow SAG-AFTRA on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.
ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is the national union of professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of 23,000 members across the country – the foundation of Canada’s highly-acclaimed professional performing community. For more information on ACTRA please visit actra.ca. Follow ACTRA on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.