Presidents of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees, today in a joint statement, announced the creation of committees to explore opportunities for cooperative efforts and a closer strategic alliance between the two unions.
President Thomas C. Short of the IATSE, said, “A closer relationship between the IA and AFTRA will work to ensure that all our members across all of our disciplines speak with one strong voice in the entertainment workplace. There are so many areas where we can work together. We are looking forward to exploring them with strategies that can bring us positive results.”
“Under the visionary leadership of President Short, the men and women of IATSE have helped thousands of workers in the media and entertainment industries create a voice at work through their union with IATSE,” said AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon. “Recent efforts by the IA with workers on programs such as ‘Americas Next Top Model’ and ‘Set for Life’ and with E! Channel, all of which are also covered by AFTRA, exemplify areas where we have common interests. We believe that exploring a closer partnership with our sisters and brothers in the IATSE will provide new avenues to organize union work opportunities for both our memberships.”
Both unions are members of the Department for Professional Employees of the AFL-CIO, and were leaders in the development of the Arts, Entertainment and Media Industry Coordinating Committee of the Federation.
At the AFTRA National Convention July 19-21, the delegates to AFTRA’s highest governing body overwhelmingly voted to affiliate directly with the AFL-CIO, rather than indirectly as an affiliate branch of the Associated Actors and Artistes of America. Immediately following the Convention, the AFTRA National Board unanimously endorsed the appointment of the exploratory committee to discuss areas of cooperation and strategic alliance between the two unions.
Fields of work covered by both IATSE and AFTRA include television news, sports and entertainment programming, music video and television commercial production, basic cable programming, internet, and new media, among others.
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, are the people who entertain and inform America. More than 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists are moving forward together through AFTRA to protect and improve our jobs, lives, and communities. AFTRA members embrace change in society—from new culture to new technology—and incorporate change in our work and craft. AFTRA celebrates and thrives on the diversity of our members and the work we do. AFTRA opens a whole new world of opportunities for success for professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists. In 32 Locals across the country, AFTRA members work as actors, journalists, dancers, singers, announcers, hosts, comedians, disc jockeys, and other performers across the media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings, music videos, commercials, audio books, non-broadcast industrials, interactive games, the Internet, and other digital media. Visit AFTRA at www.aftra.com.
IA President Short and AFTRA President Reardon are due to begin discussions on the specific components of this alliance in the near future.