SAG-AFTRA Receives AFL-CIO Charter

SAG-AFTRA Charter Presentation H 2012
Sharon Farmer/sfphotoworks

The move represents formal acknowledgement of the new union by the country’s largest labor federation.

SAG-AFTRA received a national charter Wednesday from the AFL-CIO, the union announced. The charter was presented at the morning session of the AFL-CIO Executive Council meeting in Washington, D.C.

“We are delighted to join with workers across the nation, and reaffirm the mission we share with the AFL-CIO: to ensure workers are treated fairly,” said SAG-AFTRA Co-President Roberta Reardon in a statement.

Fellow Co-President Ken Howard called the charter “a terrific capstone to the historic merger of SAG and AFTRA.”

Said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, “Today the AFL-CIO celebrates a new charter for a newly created union, SAG-AFTRA, that brings together two great unions committed to changing to meet the needs of the future.”

SAG-AFTRA joins 55 other unions, comprising more than 12 million workers, under the AFL-CIO banner. National executive director David White drew a connection to the larger labor movement, saying that the union’s “main focus is to ensure that middle-class working performers are provided fair compensation and safe working conditions. As workers in any other industry, they deserve the rights and protections that only a labor union provides.”

“Only a small fraction of our 165,000 members are high-profile stars,” he added. “The rest are dedicated professionals who work hard to feed their families and pay their mortgages.”

SAG and AFTRA received their first charters in the mid-1930s through the Associated Actors and Artistes of America, which today exists primarily on paper as an umbrella group for SAG-AFTRA, Actors Equity and several smaller performers’ unions. AFTRA received its direct charter from the AFL-CIO on February 3, 2008.

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