Murky Merger Murmurs

by | Jan 23, 2012 | Unions

The neat freak inside me wants the proposed SAG/AFTRA merger to succeed.  I dislike wasteful duplication, gratuitous redundancy, and top-heavy bureaucracies.

I’ve been told talk of a merger has been around about as long as the proposal for a high-speed train between Las Vegas and LA — decades.

On the surface, the latest proposed merger makes sense — but I’m not privy to any of the internal struggles, the personalities involved, nor the certain logistical challenges.  I don’t know the history, and I don’t particularly want to.

Endless union v. non-union debates on public forums solve nothing, but bring to light some interesting sentiments, not the least of which is that a common stand on setting rates in the market (certainly a union function) is desperately needed now in this realm.

My interest lies in a union that works, that is lean, agile and responsive to its members and the market.  I’d love to see a union that isn’t LA or NYC-centric.  What I’d really like is for someone to explain what a paymaster is, and how that model fits into a voice-acting world that operates more and more on independent freelancers directly interacting with their clients.  I’d respect a union whose policies don’t drive members into hypocritical aliases on the P2P sites.

It’d be great to see a union that actually holds it’s VO members to a standard of technical and performance benchmarks (like SaVoa), instead of allowing in anyone who has enough money to pay the dues.

I’m told SAG and AFTRA detests being made to accept Fi-Core.  Tough. I’d love to see all 50 states be right-to-work states.

Well, that turned into kind of a rant.

Bettye Zoller, don’t call to scold me.  🙂  Bob Bergen, where am I wrong?

Both Zoller and Bergen are highly-respected master talents in this business who hold high opinions of the potential of a union for all VO’s…and both have voluminous knowledge of this issue that I don’t possess.  Still, I’m allowed my opinion on my blog, and this is what I know from what I see and hear:  SAG and AFTRA as they exist now, do not seem answer the new challenges of the VO market brought on largely by the internet.  Because of that, they seem to me to be irrelevant, behind-the-times, S-L-O-W, and disdainful of the rabble.

I’d welcome your thoughts on this issue.  Are you Union now?  Why?  Are you Fi-Core?  Why?  If you are not Union, would you consider signing up following a SAG/AFTRA merger?

Below are some media articles I’ve searched that reflect the latest that’s known about the merger.

SAG-AFTRA merger means some union dues will rise as others fall

SAG Merger Skeptics Retain Law Firm 

SAG/AFTRA Merger: What’s Next

New SAGAFTRA to Feature an Array of Officers and Delegates

SAGWATCH – Observing the Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA

SAG/AFTRA Merger FaceBook page

SAGAFTRA Merger Team Readies for 9 Days of Talks





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