Hot Off the Presses: AFTRA pulls a “Legal Rabbit Out Of the Hat” to justify Administrative Committees Interactive Agreement. But, but, but, just to be on the “Safe-side’ AFTRA Board re-ratifies their Vid-game contract!
When challenged by this website and others on the constitutionality of AFTRA’s Interactive contract, in which their membership was completely bypassed, there was a rash of explanations justifying their precipitous and member unfriendly move.
At first, it was that the committee had been given that authority in the last board meeting. When the Ol’ Dog shot that down, then it was well, the board gave them that authority ten years ago. No proof! “Okay, well its custom and practice,” they intoned! Custom and practice don’t trump the AFTRA constitution. Well, well, well
Well, today at an AFTRA board meeting they pulled another legal rabbit out of the hat as an explanation: Ah, gosh, ah shucks, folks ,it’s like this, back in 2001 the board delegated to the Administrative Committee pretty much carte blanche to take any “emergency” action they deemed necessary if the AFTRA Board couldn’t meet to handle it in a timely matter.
To show you how much faith the board had in that dubious explanation, and the legality of their so-called agreement that they have been touting in the media, magically…
…they decided to go ahead and ratify the damn thing again! You know, just to be on the safe side!
Now, some of you members might wonder why they won’t let you vote on it. Well, let’s see. Hmmm, reportedly over fifty percent of AFTRA members voted for a strike authorization referendum*, and, well, gosh, it only takes over fifty percent to vote down their hurriedly agreed upon deal. And, heck, this was after all an an emergency!
Emergency? WHAT EMERGENCY? After all, AFTRA’s membership ain’t going anywhere–and AFTRA’s Constitution’s Article X1V clearly states that All National Collective Bargaining Agreements of this ilk should go out to the membership for ratification.
Oh, right, the Ol’Dog forgot! The emergency was that the Administrative Committee couldn’t have gotten the upper hand on SAG if they had taken the time to obey their pesky constitution and gone to their membership for ratification! Now, we know what their idea of a Phase Two agreement is gonna be about– SCREWING SAG!
So, they went ahead and unilaterally okayed the residual challenged deal. But just in case both memberships had voted to authorize a strike, they would have insisted that the decision to go on strike be a JOINT DECISION! Talk about wanting it both ways!
Look, folks, the Ol’ Dog anticipates that it won’t be all that far down the line when actors will have to choose which guild they want to represent them. Then you’ll have to make a really tough decision said he facetiously.
Do you want a guild that bypasses you and your constitutional right to vote on important decisions, and gives you inferior contractsor do you want to be represented by the greatest actors guild in the world that historically gets you superior contracts and for the most part, automatically includes you in the process on important decisions such as we are know facing. (If you’re a SAG member and you don’t get a Interactive ballot. Request one and it will be sent to you! Okay, maybe not perfect, but compared to AFTRA’s bypass-the-members policy, its the hight of democracy!)
I haven’t read this “rabbit out of the hat” 2001 board policy ruling yet, but have promised to put it up on the Ol’ Website (intact) when I get it. You think that maybe it’s just another all encompassing legal rabbit out of the hat to cover a constitutional indiscretion.
We shall see! We shall see! For my next trick, the Ol’ Dog is gonna pull an olive out of a bottle!
A.L. Miller’s SW Editor & Chief
*The Bad News: There was no official tally of the strike authorization referendum of either SAG or AFTRA released by the leadership to members!
The Good News: At least for SAG members! There is an election coming up!
(Remember the good Ol’ days when after you voted you were actually let in on the results?}