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AFTRA fills board openings

April 19, 2006 (19:02) | 2006 | By: Arlin Miller

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Tue., May 23, 2006, 6:32pm PT

Burgee, Colton, Connolly among those re-elected


Members of AFTRA Los Angeles have filled 18 slots on its local board and 24 on its national board, according to results announced Tuesday.

Re-elected to three-year terms on the Los Angeles board were actors Raza Burgee; Jacque Lynn Colton; John P. Connolly, who’s also AFTRA national president; Jay Gerber; Buddy Lewis; and Paul Napier; announcers Bernie Alan and Mike Sakellarides; newsperson Eric Williams; and singer Susan Boyd Joyce.

New local board members, also elected to three-year terms, include actors David Bowe; Andrew Caple-Shaw; Gabrielle Carteris; Nancy Daly; Paige King and Kate Linder; dancer Bryan Anthony; and singer Rick Logan.

National board members who were re-elected include actors Lori Alan; Ivy Bethune; Raza Burgee; John P. Connolly; Patrika Darbo; Jason George; Jay Gerber; Sumi Haru; Jackie Joseph; Buddy Lewis; Paul Napier; and Paul Petersen; announcer Bernie Alan; dancers Bobbie Bates and Sharon Ferguson; broadcaster David Horowitz; singers Susan Boyd Joyce; Jon Joyce; Dan Navarro; and Sally Stevens; and stuntman Nick Brett.
New national board members include actors Gabrielle Carteris and Andrew Caple-Shaw along with singer Linda Harmon.

Read the full article at:

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AFTRA Los Angeles

2006 General Election for National Board Members Results

National Board of Directors 24 Vacancies

– For 2006, the Los Angeles Local elected 24 members to represent Los Angeles on the AFTRA National Board of Directors beginning July 1,
2006. Each of those 24 members will hold two votes for a total of 48 votes.

– Pursuant to a rule established by the Los Angeles Local Board of Directors, the composition of the Los Angeles Local’s delegation to the AFTRA National Board of Directors requires a minimum of members from each of the following categories be elected: 10 Actors, 1 Announcer,

1 Broadcaster (includes Newspersons and Sportscasters), 1 Dancer, 3 Singers, and 1 Stuntperson. The remaining seven seats may be filled
by members from any category based on the plurality of votes received.

– Terms of Office: For the 2006 election only, the term of office for those elected will be either three years or one year and will be assigned based on the plurality of votes received. The twelve candidates receiving the highest number of votes will serve three-year terms and the
remaining twelve candidates will serve a one-year term. (Note: Beginning in 2007, terms of office will be four years in length with elections
being held every two years.)

Elected (The results for this election are listed below both by plurality and assignment of terms of office and also by category representation.)

By Plurality
(Candidates 1 12 will serve three-year terms. Candidates 13-24 will fill one-year terms.
1. Susan Boyd Joyce*
2. Sally Stevens*
3. Gabrielle Carteris
4. David Horowitz*
5. Jackie Joseph*
6. Bobbie Bates*
7. John P. Connolly*
8. Lori Alan*
9. Jay Gerber*
10. Bernie Alan*
11. Paul Petersen*
12. Buddy Lewis*
13. Linda Harmon
14. Patrika Darbo*
15. Jason George*
16. Sumi Haru*
17. Sharon Ferguson*
18. Andrew Caple-Shaw
19. Raza Burgee*
20. Paul Napier*
21. Dan Navarro*
22. Ivy Bethune*
23. Jon Joyce*
24. Nick Brett*

By Category Representation
Actor Minimum of Ten
1. Gabrielle Carteris
2. Jackie Joseph*
3. John P. Connolly*
4. Lori Alan*
5. Jay Gerber*
6. Paul Petersen*
7. Buddy Lewis*
8. Patrika Darbo*
9. Jason George*
10. Sumi Haru*
11. Andrew Caple-Shaw
12. Raza Burgee*
13. Paul Napier*
14. Ivy Bethune*

Announcer Minimum of 1
1. Bernie Alan*
Broadcaster Minimum of 1 (includes Newspersons and Sportscasters)
1. David Horowitz*
Dancer Minimum of 1
1. Bobbie Bates* 2. Sharon Ferguson*

Note: Ron Morgan and Matt Kimbrough did not get elected to the national board but because they are both national officers, they get to stay on until 2007.



Did The Teamsters and Service Employees Fly the AFL-CIO Coop because of Sweeney’s ICC Power Grab

April 19, 2006 (19:02) | 2006 | By: Arlin Miller

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While the SAG Membership waits to see if our leadership, under the Presidency of Alan Rosenberg, will standup to the ICC AFL-CIO Power Grab, there is evidence that the exodus of the Teamsters and Service Employees from the AFL-CIO was prompted by the organizations Executive Councils formation of their Industrial Coordinating Committees! These AFL-CIO designed Committees carry a mandate that affectively takes away the autonomy of AFL-CIO affiliates!

ITEM: This AFL-CIO press release dated July 22, 2005.

(Chicago; July 22)Authorizing some of the most sweeping changes in the history of the AFL-CIO since its founding in 1955, the AFL-CIO’s top leadership bodythe Executive Councilpassed a number of resolutions and statements today supporting AFL-CIO President John Sweeney’sproposed program. The program changes will now be voted on by the more than 900 delegates to the AFL-CIO Convention next week. The changes include:

Creating Industry Coordinating Committees: Industry Coordinating Committees would be formed at the request of affiliated unions and would bring together unions who represent workers in an industry, employer, occupation, or region. The committees would be responsible for establishing contract standards and a strategic organizing plan for that industry. They would also set up joint political and legislative programs designed to increase bargaining power and membership growth. All affiliated unions with membership in the industry would participate and be bound by the standards and organizing plans.

WOOF ! At the REQUEST of Affliated Unions? Hmmm, who at SAG asked for this committee? As, of now NO one is taking credit, but we do know it was under the Restore Respect/USAN regime of President Melissa Gilbert who is STILL listed as a member of the AFL-CIO Executive Council that drafted this Power Grabbing Committee!

ITEM: This article appeared July 26, 2005, just FOUR DAYS after the July 22, 2005 announcement of what the Watchdog describes as a John Sweeney AFL-CIO ICC Power Grab!

Two Top Unions Split From AFL-CIO
Others Are Expected To Follow Teamsters

By Thomas B. Edsall
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 26, 2005; A01

CHICAGO, July 25 — Two of the nation’s largest and most powerful unions resigned from the AFL-CIO on Monday, fracturing the 50-year-old federation as the labor movement struggles to stem decades of decline and lost influence in both the workplace and the political arena.

The withdrawal of the 1.7 million-member Service Employees International Union, the biggest union in the AFL-CIO, and the 1.3 million-strong International Brotherhood of Teamsters is a blow to the political clout and finances of the AFL-CIO, according to an array of labor leaders gathered here. Together, the two unions pay $20 million in annual dues toward the AFL-CIO’s $120 million budget.
Labor leaders here widely expect two other unions, also in league with the dissidents, to join the breakup. Together, the four unions represent nearly one-third of the AFL-CIO’s 13 million members.

WOOF !Although, there is no mention of the ICC in the news story, it would appear that the Service Employees International Union and the Teamsters were having none of the ICC defacto takeovers that would dictate the kind of contracts they could negotiate, workers they could organize, and with which unions they could initiate activities!

And the AFL-CIO exodus continues! Here’s an excerpt of a story from today’s Business Week Online..

Laborers union breaks free from AFL-CIO

May 22 1:07 P.M. ET The Laborers’ Union, which represents 700,000 workers in the construction industry, has decided to leave the AFL-CIO, officials said.

The Laborers were already part of the Change to Win coalition, breakaway unions that have left the giant federation of more than 50 unions in an effort to forge a new direction for organized labor. But the Laborers had remained in the federation.
“We are leaving so that we can place our full efforts and focus on growth in order to help millions of construction workers improve their lives,” said Richard Greer, a spokesman for the Laborers. The Laborers informed the AFL-CIO Monday that they are leaving as of June 1.

The Laborers, the Service Employees International Union, the Teamsters, the United Food and Commercial Workers, UNITE HERE, United Farm Workers and the Carpenters are part of the Change to Win coalition.

AFL-CIO officials had no immediate comment on the latest defection from their ranks.

The breakaway unions have complained that the AFL-CIO was putting too much emphasis on electoral politics and not enough on organizing more people to join the shrinking labor movement.

WOOF ! Hmmm, if their document was anything like the AEMI-ICC principles/implementation document, perhaps, they didn’t fall for that politically-correct change that originally mandated that the ICC would develop and implement (v.) “A strategic plan that integrates POLITICS with organizing!” They substituted PUBLIC POLICY in place of POLITICS !

Apparently, some member unions weren’t convinced !!

A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief WOOF !

Today, the Ol’ Dog had a cordial conversation with SAG Prez Alan Rosenberg on where he stands on the AFL-CIO/AEMI-ICC Final Proposal. We’ll have a report on that conversation soon, right here on the Ol’ Watchdog.



Sweeny Power Grab Part Three More documents detailing how he plans to Reel us in!

April 19, 2006 (19:02) | 2006 | By: Arlin Miller

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As we have pointed out in Parts One and Two of this series, the AFL-CIO’s John Sweeny is attempting a power grab that would take away our unions right to independently organize, negotiate contracts, or initiate activities with other guilds or unions without the permission of this new AFL-CIO Committee!

We have posted photocopies of a document identified by the AFL-CIO as the Final merged ICC principles/Implementation agreement that details the BINDING POWERS of this committee.

The previous page that we posted in Part Two, Enforcement: Contract standards, (12.) basically spelled out how violation of the ICC dictated contract standards could cause the violator to lose Article XX protectionTranslation: How the committee could, say, take away SAG’s jurisdiction over actors, if we don’t seek the kind of contracts they want us to seek! Under this take-over, if OUR PRESIDENT and Board agreed to this plan, SAG would no longer determine the kind of contracts that would best serve our membersthat BINDING determination would be dictated to us by IATSE’s Tom Short, AFTRA’s John Connolly and others the Eleven Member Committee.

The next photocopy is of page 6, which continues with Section (12.) b.:

Basically most of this is an unnecessary hodgepodge. You’ll notice in (c.) that “the AEMI ICC will preserve existing jurisdictional disputes.” This document takes away our autonomy, and what do we get in return, EXISTING protections that we are already paying *moneyHundreds Of Thousands of Dollars for.

(b.) Is a sneaky little “gun-to-the-head” maneuver that has AFTRA’s Leadership salivating, (and to some members minds, could be the reason for the formulation of this unnecessary committee in the first place. Apparently, the idea for this little ditty began to formulate not long after merger failed and was moved to the front burner shortly before Melissa and Company were defeated.)

You see, it’s like this, Bunkie. If SAG don’t cave in to the Extortive elements of this power grab, Big John and Kim could supposedly come in to the committee and say, “They ain’t ICC members so we get Digital!”

Hey, big spenders, how about that Section (15.)! It is mandated that if we become a member of this AFL-CIO PG, we as Committee members will be responsible for staffing and *moneyFINANCING *money ICC efforts and activities on a basis DETERMINED BY THE COMMITTEE.

And,Gee, that silly Ol’ SAG Constitution foolishly says that “control” of SAG funds and affairs “shall be vested in the Board of Directors!” Sorry, guys and gals, whatever the almighty ICC demands shall be payable on demand. Hey, but, at least we would have a One Eleventh say!

Okay, so our board loses a tiny bit of a “say” on where our dues money goes! Look on the bright side, at least, they can still determine what kind of contracts we seek for our members! Ooops! I forgot! That will be determined by technicians, makeup folks, newscasters, stagehands along with hard bargaining leaders like Tom Short and John Connolly.

Well, okay, maybe The Board could meet to organize new work for our members, ah, no, that would be up to the ICC, and then, well, no Board Members could initiate any activities with unions NOT affiliated with the AFL-CIO. (Hmmm, I wonder if that means Alan could still have lunches with Patric?)

Actually, when you get right down to it, there really wouldn’t be much for our elected leadership to do but ACT like they really had a reason to meet.

Hey, here’s a thought, since they’ll mostly be hanging out with nothing to do, maybe we should rename them…


A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief WOOF !

Be sure and catch our next post COMING SOON! We’ll tell you Who is being CONNED into supporting this POWER GRABand who AIN’T!



Unions back ad study

April 19, 2006 (19:02) | 2006 | By: Arlin Miller

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Wed., May 17, 2006, 8:52pm PT

SAG, AFTRA take on emerging distrib platforms

Variety Magazine

HOLLYWOOD — SAG and AFTRA have taken a step toward supporting a study on changing revenue models for the advertising industry.

The unions and the ad biz’s Joint Policy Committee on Broadcast Talent Union Relations have agreed to invite nine consultants to submit proposals for the study, which would explore how to compensate actors amid the plethora of new platforms for commercials such as cell phones, video-on-demand and iPods.
SAG and AFTRA still haven’t hammered out a specific agreement to extend the current contract, which expires Oct. 29. Union leaders agreed last month to the general outlines of a deal with the ad biz for an extension of at least a year (Daily Variety, April 12).

Announcement said the request for proposal includes the statement, “SAG, AFTRA, and the JPC realize that any study must be comprehensive and take into consideration the myriad of interests of all the parties — performers and their unions on the one hand and advertisers and their partners — advertising agencies, both large and small, production companies, talent payroll services, casting directors, and cost consultants — on the other hand.”

An extension of the current contract would have to be approved by SAG and AFTRA members. Extending the contract would preserve the current model of paying SAG actors for primetime TV ads via residuals.
The ad industry has floated the idea of replacing residuals with an annual $19,000 buyout that would cover a year, and it first asked for a yearlong extension last year in order to perform the study.
SAG and AFTRA struck the ad industry for six months in 2000, gaining big hikes in cable rates and Internet jurisdiction. In 2003, SAG and AFTRA agreed to the current deal, which included hikes in pension and health contributions and a gain of 7% over the three years in minimum fees.

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This take from the LA Daily News

Article Launched: 5/18/2006 12:00 AMActors unions, advertisers seek study on payBY GREG HERNANDEZ,

Staff Writer
LA Daily News

With just over five months left before the expiration of the current labor contract for commercial performers, negotiators for the acting unions and the advertising industry have agreed to seek proposals for a joint study to identify alternate models for compensation in the age of emerging new media.

The Screen Actors Guild, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the advertising industry’s Joint Policy Committee on Broadcast Talent Union Relations announced Wednesday that they have invited nine consultants from both industry and academia to submit proposals for a study which, if chosen, would be used for consideration during the bargaining process.

Both sides are seeking to avoid a repeat of 2000 when commercial actors were locked in a six-month-long strike, one of the longest walkouts in entertainment industry history. They finally agreed to a three-year contract in Oct. 2003 that included increases in wages and in health plan and pension contributions.

“We are doing something that is pretty unprecedented in labor,” said Doug Wood, JPC lead negotiator. “In general, we’d like their proposals for models on how to create a new system to fairly compensate actors and allow advertisers the creative freedom they need an ever-diffused audience in an ever-increasing array of media choices.”

SAG spokesman Seth Oster said that while a study has not yet been selected, the union is hopeful one can be agreed upon.

“We are proceeding in our joint effort to find a qualified consultant to conduct the study that is especially important to both sides,” Oster said. “The landscape of the advertising industry, like that of the entire entertainment industry, has changed dramatically and we think it’s in our best interests to have an objective third party expert give us insight into how these changes are affecting actors in order to ensure that we can best protect our members and their interests as we renegotiate this critical.”

AFTRA National Assistant Executive Director Mathis Dunn, the union’s chief negotiator for the commercials contract, reflected Wednesday that “in their initial day, radio and television were new technologies. AFTRA then worked with the advertising industry to establish a fair method of compensating performers.”

Dunn said the study “is a step to help us determine what changes, if any, could be made to continue fair compensation to performers.”

Wood agreed the study seems necessary because of changes in advertising, particularly in connection to the Internet, which is likely to make negotiations more complex.

“They are not telling us what to do, they are just giving us models,” Wood said. “These consultants need to have true independence and be credible to both sides so there is reason to take their recommendation seriously.”

With the current contract expiring Oct. 29 and the requests for proposals just going out now, Wood said he expects both sides to discuss an extension in order to have time for the study to be completed and digested.

“It’s one step at a time,” he said. “The important thing is we are having a productive dialogue with the unions and I’m optimistic.”
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Why are tongues hanging out at AFTRA! You ain’t gonna believe it

April 19, 2006 (19:02) | 2006 | By: Arlin Miller

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As reported exclusively by the Ol’ Watchdog, there’s a power move afoot by John Sweeny’s AFL-CIO to try and pressure the Screen Actors Guild into joining a new committee that they’ve formed called the Industry Coordinating Committee. If our National Board was to allow this to happen, SAG would be bound by any strategy that THEY dictated including our contracts with employers–and organizing of actors! Under this power grab, they would also be able to tell us what other guilds with whom we could associate, i.e., The WGA and DGA.

And in what can only been seen as extortion, SAG has been threatened that if we don’t join this group, our jurisdiction over actors could be revoked by the 4A’s( Associated Actors and Artistes of America.)

Here’s the kicker, the word the Ol’ Dog has heard from several sources, is that John Connolly, Kim Hedgpeth and their legal staff already have their tongues hanging out in anticipation!

Now, before, anyone considers giving into any threat that the 4A’s might actually try such an audacious move–let’s take a look at this organization.

At best, the 4A’s is little more than a ceremonious association with ONE part time employee and an office located in the Equity Building.

It has five non-salaried officers including its President, Theodore Bikel; V.P. Carl Harms; Executive Secretary, SAG’s senior consultant, John McGuire; Treasurer, Thomas Jamerson; and V.P. Rod McKuen!

Now, I don’t know about you, but I can’t see these guys telling SAG members that they must abandon our great guild for Equity, AFTRA or any other entity. Not only would they be buried in an avalanche of protest, but that one part-time employee might need a bit of help in dealing with the lawsuits and the Department of Labor.

And if, and when, that happens, AFTRA’s leadership could be facing a challenge to any jurisdiction they currently hold over actors. Especially in light of a ruling by the 4A’s in 1952 following SAG’s jurisdictional defeat of the Television Authority in NLRB ordered elections.

Following those elections, The 4A’s ordered that Jurisdiction is hereby confirmed in SAG over all actors (including singers, announcers, stunt men, and airplane pilots) employed in the motion picture field including, without limitation, all motion pictures produced for use over television… AFRA then merged with the Television Authority to become AFTRA, and gained jurisdiction over LIVE television!

If there is any jurisdictional dispute here, and AFTRA wants to play hardball, it does not bode well for them, since according to documentation, it was only granted jurisdiction of LIVE Television.

So, what should SAG do?

First off, we should never be intimidated into giving up our autonomy! Even, if it means leaving the AFL-CIO. Mr. Sweeny, and his group, are the recipient of *money$400,000 of your dues dollars annually, while another *money$100,000 is handed over to the 4A’s!

And what have they done for us lately? Ah, right! In fact, I have been told that when a request was made to them to use their constitutions’ Article XX (Settlement of Internal Disputes)to stop AFTRA from low-balling SAG contracts, they refused!

If our National Board is not unanimous in rejecting this take-over proposal, then it should be taken to the membership in referendum. And when our membership rejects it, AND THEY WILL, it would be an act of futility for the 4A’s, or anyone else, to deny the will of our membership when it comes to what guild they want to represent them!

Following the referendum’s rejection of the AFL-CIO’s proposal, SAG should do what it did in the Fifties, petition the DOL for elections–and let actors decide which union, they want to represent them in both Filmed productions and Live TV–SAG or AFTRA?

In 1952, SAG won 12 out of those 13 elections. This time it would be a slam-dunk. And we would finally have, what we have all wanted, All actors under one roof!

Hopefully, by then, Kim, John and his followers’ tongues will no longer be hanging out, because I’d sure hate to see them bite them off!

A.L Miller SW Editor & Chief WOOF !

A special thanks to our Membership First National Board Heroes who, temporarily at least, managed to stop this take-over at our last plenary–when SAG Senior Consultant John McGuire, who helped form this AFL-CIO Power Grab, tried to slip it by our National Board with a “There’s No Time to scrutinize it. It has to be passed now!” It wasn’t! Thanks, guys and gals, for giving us time to let the membership know what they are trying to pull– hopefully the USAN Leadership will join them in a show of solidarity to nip this power grab in the bud. ! (It is my understanding that ALL Membership First Members oppose this take-over, with one notable acceptation! At this point, there has been no indication where the USAN Leadership stands on this issue!)

If I am mistaken on the above, please let me now! And if there are any of our elected leaders, or senior staff, who would like to speak out in favor of The AFL-CIO’s AEMI/ICC project, I will post your comments, UNEDITED!! )

Thanks to Terrence Beasor who helped with much of the research on this article. Also thanks to all of you that have responded to these series of articles. It is reassuring to the Ol’ Dog that you feel as passionate about SAG Keeping its Autonomy as I do!

All your responses can be summed up pretty well by an email that said,

“We MUST fight this!!!!!!!!!!!”