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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Southern California

SAG Members Rally Against Merger

SAG members say this merger will hurt them but help AFTRA.

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.

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COMMENTS

Leron Gubler is not an actor. He has nothing to gain or loose by this merger. I dont know why he was interviewed. He is a businessman who is only interested in making business and money. Its the rank and file actors who are going to loose permanently. The reporter could not get anyone from SAG-AFTRA so they got the next best thing! Geez!

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