Aftra, Sag Hurl Accusations At Each Other
Solidarity between the two principal actors' unions appeared irreparably fractured Saturday as the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists voted to break off its 27-year joint bargaining agreement with the Screen Actors Guild. The decision allows AFTRA to begin early separate negotiations for a new contract with the major networks and studios. Until this latest rift, AFTRA was believed to be exercising a moderating influence over the hard-line stance of some SAG leaders, and some observers expressed concern that the split could result in another strike. SAG leaders had been elected on promises to wring additional DVD residuals from the studios and an increase in payments for work shown on cable and the Internet. SAG President Alan Rosenberg accused his AFTRA counterparts of turning "their back on every actor in America." AFTRA President Roberta Reardon shot back that SAG was attempting to undermine her union, most recently by allegedly attempting to become the bargaining agent for actors worki ng on the soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful. On Sunday Rosenberg released a list of "facts," insisting, among other things, that "SAG is not involved in any way in organizing daytime drama actors."