American Federation of Television and Radio Artists members ratified the new three-year primetime-television agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers by a 62.4% margin.
“Today’s vote reflects the ability of AFTRA members to recognize a solid contract when they see it. Despite an unprecedented disinformation campaign aimed at interfering with our ratification process, a majority of members ultimately focused on what mattered -- the obvious merits of a labor agreement that contains substantial gains for every category of performer in both traditional and new media,” AFTRA national president Roberta Reardon said in a press release.
Screen Actors Guild president Alan Rosenberg, whose organization campaigned vehemently against ratification by the 44,000 members that are members of both guilds, issued a statement taking solace in the fact that it wasn’t a landslide.
“Clearly, many Screen Actors Guild members responded to our education and outreach campaign and voted against the inadequate AFTRA agreement,” he said. “We knew AFTRA would appeal to its many AFTRA-only members, who are news people, sportscasters and DJs, to pass the tentative agreement covering acting jobs. In its materials, AFTRA focused that appeal on the importance of actor members’ increased contributions to help fund its broadcast members’ pension and health benefits. We will continue to address the issues of importance to actors that AFTRA left on the table and we remain committed to achieving a fair contract for SAG actors.”
Now the attention turns back to the SAG-AMPTP talks, which are slated to continue Thursday when SAG responds to the AMPTP’s “final offer.” The deal between those two parties expired June 30.
The AMPTP issued a statement following the AFTRA vote, saying that the organization appreciated “today's vote of confidence by actors in the agreement we reached with AFTRA and hope it demonstrates to SAG's Hollywood leadership that there is support for the new economic relationships we have built with writers, directors and actors -- and not much support for a strike, whether de facto or real.”
The new AFTRA-AMPTP deal is effective from July 1 through June 30, 2011.