SAG Members Rally Against Merger
Screen Actors Guild members rallied Thursday afternoon against the proposed merger with the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists (AFTRA).
The rally came one day after SAG members filed a law suit against the merger, claiming the SAG leadership did not conduct proper research before proposing the merger. Protesters say they believe the merger could damage SAG and hurt its members.
"Because of this merger, I could see my pension disappearing," SAG member Hank Garrett said.
Garrett has been a member of SAG for 56 years but now he expresses concern over the union's decline.
"It's not the same union I joined years ago," Garrett said. "It hasn't improved, it's gotten worse."
Garrett isn't the only member who disagrees with the merger. Dewayne Williams, a former SAG board member, said he believes the merger means SAG would take on AFTRA's debt.
"SAG has a lot more money than AFTRA," Williams said. "AFTRA's hurting financially and it's a win-win situation for AFTRA. So I really don't blame AFTRA, I blame the SAG leadership."
ATVN contacted AFTRA but was unable to get a comment. However, the majority of Hollywood is preocuppied with Sunday's Academy Awards.
The president of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce supports the merger, saying it could benefit the industry.
"We're not one way or the other, but there's certainly a lot of positive spin-offs if they did join forces," Leron Gubler said.