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SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard: ‘A Lack of Diversity Permeates Our Industry’

February 10, 2016 (23:05) | 2015 | By: Arlin Miller

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The Best Action Movie You’ve Ever Seen

February 10, 2016 | 10:27AM PT

SAG-AFTRA president Ken Howard has called on Hollywood to address the industry’s diversity problem and said the performers union is committed to change.

SAG-AFTRA issued the comments three weeks after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences took steps to double the numbers of minorities in the Academy by 2020. The diversity issue has been at the forefront of Hollywood since the Jan. 14 announcement of Oscar nominations, which didn’t include any non-white actors.

“A lack of diversity permeates our industry and SAG-AFTRA as an organization is committed to affecting change,” Howard said. “Our Equal Employment Opportunity & Diversity Department is solely dedicated to making change on the front line, but inclusivity is something we care deeply about throughout all facets of our union.”

The SAG-AFTRA president’s task force on education, outreach and engagement, and the SAG-AFTRA diversity advisory committee issued a statement Wednesday detailing the union’s position:

“It is a core value of SAG-AFTRA that our strength is in our diversity. We are committed to the broadest employment and involvement of our members, regardless of race, national origin, ancestry, color, creed, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, political affiliation, veteran status, gender identity or expression, age or disability. SAG-AFTRA strives to educate and engage members so that they may be full participants in the workings of their union. We are proud to be a model of inclusion, democratic organization and governance.”

SAG-AFTRA also said that it plans to continue the dialogue and suggest solutions.

“This moment isn’t only about race,” the union said. “This isn’t only about the lack of faces and voices of color. This is about disability. This is about age. This is about gender and gender identity. This is about sexual orientation. This is about the diversity of our stories, of our experiences, of our perspectives. So many of these are, right now, missing from our screens.”

SAG-AFTRA, which has about 165,000 members, said those members work in “the most visible workplace on the planet.” It said it will continue to use this visibility to shine a light on the inequity that still exists.

“Statistical representation is a helpful tool to measure progress but isn’t the ultimate goal,” the union added. “It’s about more and better jobs for all of our members; in particular those who have been historically and categorically denied opportunities to compete for these jobs. Greater inclusion is needed throughout every level: from executive suites, to writers’ rooms; from agencies to the cast and crew members on-set.”

The union also said that the industry needs to become more diverse because of the demands of audiences: “All the greenlighters and gatekeepers need to understand that this is a business imperative and not a politically correct luxury — audiences are choosing authenticity over platitudes and will continue to make those choices with their time and their money.”

“A lack of diversity permeates our industry and SAG-AFTRA as an organization is committed to affecting change,” Howard said. “Our equal employment opportunity & diversity department is solely dedicated to making change on the front line, but inclusivity is something we care deeply about throughout all facets of our union.”

“There does seem to be momentum now towards inclusiveness,” said SAG-AFTRA executive vice president Gabrielle Carteris. “But we won’t really see change happen until those in authority take responsibility and choose to make decisions based on authenticity. These decisions directly impact which stories and people are present and, more importantly, which are missing.”

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Good article!  But, but, but,  unfortunately, for most of the movie ads that I see advertised on TV,  the lack of diversity refers to the way,  they come up with to blow up stuff on screen.

Arl

The Ol’ SAG Watchdog

*Photo selected by SAG Watchdog

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Sad news for SAG-Actor Website Fans!

February 9, 2016 (21:03) | 2015 | By: Arlin Miller

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Sad Day Pictures, Photos, and Images for Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest ...

I got the news while talking to my friend Brian Hamilton, who created the great website SAG Actor: Where showbiz folks for the last couple decades could debate the issues facing our unions.

Brian said primarily he decided to discontinue the site because of some of the technical issues he confronted in revamping it–and that he also felt with all the Facebook sites dedicated to SAG/AFTRA issues it was no longer needed.

Perhaps. But from my perspective,  there will never be another site like the SAG-Actor that served our union and its members like Mr. Hamilton’s creation!

What can we say but “Thanks Brian!!!”

Arl

The Ol SAG Watchdog

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ATTENTION V/O PERFORMERS!

February 5, 2016 (21:54) | 2015 | By: Arlin Miller

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 ... voiceover professional (or voice actor, or voice over artist, or

This was sent to me by Bob Bergen ( A nice guy and great V/O performer)

Bob Bergen posted in LA UNION V.O. ACTORS! .       Bob Bergen February 5 at 1:00pm   *  ******ATTENTION VIDEO GAME PERFORMERS******Vocal stress is one of the important issues on the table in the Interactive Media negotiations. Unfortunately, the employers have not given us a substantive response to our vocal safety proposal. While our goal is still to address vocal safety in our collective bargaining agreement, as long as the employers fail to respond we will be exploring other options to protect performers. To this goal, two members of the negotiating committee recently made a presentation on vocal safety in video games to Cal/OSHA’s Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board. Cal/OSHA, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, is the state agency that creates regulations around safety in the workplace. There are currently no regulations that specifically address vocal safety. We’d rather not have to petition for new regulations, but since the video game employers are unwilling to address vocal stress in negotiations in a real way, we are investigating this further to protect the voices of our members. To do this, we are collecting material to put together a formal petition to the Cal/OSHA Standards Board around vocal stress. What we need from you: If you have experienced any vocal stress or injury in video game work, please share the story with us so that we can include it in our research. Your name will be kept confidential. When sharing your story, please include: -When it happened -What you were working on (do not violate any NDA’s- something general like “Battle game” will suffice) -How the session was vocally stressful -How long you did vocally stressful work in the session Please also share how the session affected you or your work (e.g., lost voice, fainted, couldn’t work next gig, etc.). Any additional information you feel may be relevant, including if there are certain employers or studios that have a pattern of not looking out for member vocal safety. Finally, please share any ideas you might have on how vocal stress should be addressed. Please send information to Jill King at SAG/AFTRA .Org

Thank you, SAG-AFTRA

******ATTENTION VIDEO GAME PERFORMERS*******

Vocal stress is one of the important issues on the table in the Interactive Media negotiations. Unfortunately, the employers have not given us a substantive response to our vocal safety proposal. While our goal is still to address vocal safety in our collective bargaining agreement, as long as the employers fail to respond we will be exploring other options to protect performers.

To this goal, two members of the negotiating committee recently made a presentation on vocal safety in video games to Cal/OSHA’s Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board.

Cal/OSHA, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, is the state agency that creates regulations around safety in the workplace. There are currently no regulations that specifically address vocal safety.

We’d rather not have to petition for new regulations, but since the video game employers are unwilling to address vocal stress in negotiations in a real way, we are investigating this further to protect the voices of our members. To do this, we are collecting material to put together a formal petition to the Cal/OSHA Standards Board around vocal stress.

What we need from you:

If you have experienced any vocal stress or injury in video game work, please share the story with us so that we can include it in our research. Your name will be kept confidential. When sharing your story, please include:

-When it happened

-What you were working on (do not violate any NDA’s- something general like “Battle game” will suffice)

-How the session was vocally stressful

-How long you did vocally stressful work in the session

Please also share how the session affected you or your work (e.g., lost voice, fainted, couldn’t work next gig, etc.).

Any additional information you feel may be relevant, including if there are certain employers or studios that have a pattern of not looking out for member vocal safety.

Finally, please share any ideas you might have on how vocal stress should be addressed.

Please send information to:  Jill King at SAG/AFTRA .Org

Thank you,

——

A great way to make your voices heard!

Arl

The Ol’ SAG Watchdog

*Photo selected by Watchdog

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Feds Clear Hollywood Teamsters of Vote-Rigging Allegations.

February 3, 2016 (20:19) | 2015 | By: Arlin Miller

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KEEP ON TRUCKIN [KEEP ON TRUCKIN] - $3.25 : Papas Speed Shop

February 1, 2016 | 04:19PM PT

Investigators from the National Labor Relations Board have dismissed allegations of vote-tampering by officers with Teamsters Local 399.

Secretary-treasurer Steve Dayan had asserted that the charges — filed by transportation coordinator Eugene Alford — were frivolous and politically motivated. The North Hollywood-based local represents about 5,000 location managers, casting directors, studio drivers and animal wranglers.

The NLRB launched the probe into claims that the union had violated the National Labor Relations Act by conducting an allegedly “fraudulent” membership ratification vote for a three-year contract that was ratified in July. But a Jan. 29 letter to Alford from NLRB regional director Mori Rubin said that the charge was dismissed.

“We have carefully investigated and considered your charge that Teamsters Local 399 has violated the National Labor Relations Act,” Rubin wrote. “Based on that investigation, I have decided to dismiss that charge because there is insufficient evidence to establish a violation of the Act.”

“I’m pleased with the outcome,” said Dayan. “We knew this was the decision that we would get.”

Alford had alleged that ballots collected by the union did not have the proper identification information. “This validates the way we ran the process,” Dayan said.

Dayan was elected to head the local in 2013 after a spirited contest in which he replaced Leo Reed, who had held the post for more than two decades. Dayan had been fired from his post as business agent after he had told Reed that he would be running for the post.

Alford has until Feb. 12 to appeal. He was not immediately for comment.

 

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To our Teamster friends.  “Keep on Truckin’!”

Arl

The Ol’ SAG Watchdog

*Photo selected by Watchdog

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ITV Settles Writers Guild Complaint, Bargaining Resumes1

February 2, 2016 (21:44) | 2015 | By: Arlin Miller

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Los Ingredientes de La Vida: "Pasar La ITV"
February 1, 2016 | 02:48PM PT

A long-running labor dispute between ITV and the Writers Guild of America East has resulted in a settlement that will enable the two sides to return to the bargaining table.

ITV, which produces “The First 48” and “Four Weddings,” agreed to settle a case brought against it by the National Labor Relations Board. The guild had alleged that ITV violated federal labor law and directly undermined employees’ decision to join with the guild. The NLRB had scheduled a trial that would have started on Monday.

Instead, ITV agreed to a settlement that will pay over $55,000 to current and former employees represented by the WGA; reinstate the $300/month stipend it terminated in January 2015 when it unilaterally implemented a health plan; and allow them to return to the bargaining table with the union.

“The most fundamental principle of collective bargaining is that an employer cannot change employees’ terms and conditions of employment unilaterally,” said Lowell Peterson, exec director of the WGA East.

“The company is obligated to bargain in good faith with the Guild on all issues — pay rates, paid time off, benefits and union protections like grievance, arbitration and union security — until the parties reach agreement on all issues. In the coming weeks, we will return to the bargaining table to negotiate benefits that are meaningful (and affordable) to a freelance workforce and all the other elements of a reasonable contract.”

ITV issued an announcement that disputed the guild’s version:

“The WGAE is attempting to spin the constructive deal reached with us as a victory. It is not. ITV’s position has remained consistent throughout the negotiations and unlike the WGA, we have always sought to engage and talk to them in a spirit of good faith. However, we could not agree to a settlement that put our employees’ healthcare in jeopardy or put us in a position of potentially violating federal law which the union initially pushed for. The WGA has eventually agreed to a settlement that put the interests of their members first rather than their own.”

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Instead of ITV…maybe they should call themselves USTV!  You think?

Arl

The Ol’ SAG Watchdog

*Photo selected by Watchdog

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