The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Screen Actors Guild announced Friday their respective members have voted to approve plans to merge.
The merger brings under a single union banner known as SAG-AFTRA more than 150,000 actors, announcers, broadcasters, journalists, dancers, disc jockeys, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voice-over artists and other media professionals.
SAG members voted 82 percent in favor of the merger, while AFTRA members favored the merger with 86 percent, exceeding the 60 percent threshold needed for both unions' membership for passage.
"With this historic vote, members of both unions have affirmed one of the most basic principles of unionism: Together we are stronger," SAG-AFTRA National Co-President Ken Howard said in a statement Friday. "This merger, the result of months -- really years -- of planning, brings together the best elements of both unions and positions us well to thrive in the changing 21st-century media landscape."
"The merger of these two unions is a huge victory for our members, and it is a monumental achievement for the labor movement," said SAG-AFTRA National Co-President Roberta Reardon. "As this vote today proves, great and transformative things are possible when working Americans stand together and shape their collective destiny through their union. I applaud every member who voted, and invite all members, locally and nationally, to join with us in building a successor union worthy of AFTRA and SAG."
This merger, the result of months -- really years -- of planning, brings together the best elements of both unions and positions us well to thrive in the changing 21st-century media landscape.