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January 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

One day after the board of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) authorized the union’s leaders to continue working with their counterparts at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) to create a merged union, SAG’s board voted on Sunday to allocate up to $70,000 in additional funds to help cover the costs of the merger. In a statement, SAG President Ken Howard said, “Now is the time to focus our attention, our resources and our very best efforts on completing the journey to one union. I’m confident we will make it, and that our members now and in the future will be the better for it.” Taking note of the fact that in 1998 and 2003 merger efforts failed, AFTRA President Roberta Reardon observed that recent technological developments that make the Internet a third avenue of distribution requires the two unions to develop a united front. “Our world of work is very different than it was the last time tried we tried to bring our unions together,” she said, “so any new, successor union we hope to create must also be different, and to do that successfully, we must be guided by a clear vision for the future.”