The Ol’ Watchdog has learned that at the Joint AFTRA/SAG contract plenary–which took place today in the Cagney room at 5757 Wilshire, and teleconferenced from NYC–voted overwhelmingly to support the new 2-year commercial contract extension.
Although, the Ol’ Dog, overall, endorses this extension, here is the disturbing part, and the primary reason why AFTRA which has a 50 percent say in our neogotiations, while only having a 10 percent stake, needs to be excluded–or ratio represented in these negotiations.
Even though SAG board members voted to issue a Minority Report with the ballot for this extension referendum, they were overruled thanks to Big John Connolly and his minions from AFTRA, and those NY USAN members, who bothered to show up! Yep, thanks to their combined vote, members of both unions will NOT RECEIVE A MINORITY REPORT!
Apparently, the consensus of these leaders is that you, the lowly members, should not be confused with pesky opposition—after all, they are the leaders and they know best.
And of course, they don’t want you to know who bears the responsibility of this repression of open debate and dissenting opinion. In fact one Big Man on the dais, reportedly in a pique of anger, bellowed to another leader on the dais “if this comes back on AFTRA, I’m gonna hold you responsible!”
In an aside, another board member commented, ” So now you’re making threats!
The Big man roared, “F— Y–!” Adding to his contingent, “Next door in the AFTRA room, right now!
So the bulk of the AFTRA group, with only a small stake in this contract extension, effectively denied you the opportunity to get any contrary debate with your ballot!
Okay, what about the SAG President, the Chairperson of the Negotiating Committee and Hollywood Membership First board members who have so much at stake, and indeed favor the passing of this contract extension?
Did they, like AFTRA’s leadership, advocate and vote in favor of denying members access to opposing viewpoints?
I’m happy to say that they, to their everlasting credit, stood by their convictions–and voted overwhelmingly in favor of a Minority Report in order that members should get both sides of the story!
This, to me, tells you all you need to know about AFTRA and the NY leadership–and, conversely, the Hollywood Leadership.
Even though our President and MembershipFirst! Board was defeated in their conviction that members deserve to hear both sides of the story, and although the Ol’ Dog supports this extension, I have put out an offer to that minority that opposes this extension to make a Minority Report—and the Ol’ Dog will proudly post it.
In the meantime, I hope that this information will be added to a multitude of reasons why SAG needs to eliminate the current lopsided “Phase One” Agreement with AFTRA, and regain our complete autonomy when it comes to negotiating our contracts and determining our destiny through the application of democratic principles.
Here’s a thought: Should you run into AFTRA President John Connolly, or New York’s board members, ask them why they are against members getting dissenting viewpoints?
Personally, I’d love to be there when they expound on how you would just be confused, and how they know best.
A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief
About this article, a SAG board member commented on two bulletin boards, “If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were there.”
The Ol’ Dogs response.
The following are the online links to the websites of various slates running in the current SAG election.
WiWild Bunch: http://www.thewildbunchofhollywood.com/sagnews.htm
Membership First: http://membershipfirst.com/main.html
The Ol’ Dog encourages you to visit them all before voting.
In an effort to level the playing field, so to speak, we will be adding to our post the picture and statement of any independent candidate who sends us their literature as a JPG file.
The posting of these statements neither implies that the Watchdog endorses these candidates nor that they necessarily endorse any of the Ol’ Dogs statements. Whoof! Whoof!