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   April 20, 2006

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Approval of Industry Coordinating Committees

Council Approves General Principles for Formation of AFL-CIO Industry Coordinating Committees (ICCs)

Arts, Entertainment and Media ICC To Meet in May, 2006

The Council of Actors' Equity has approved the General Principles for the formation of the AFL-CIO's new Industry Coordinating Committees (ICC). The principles will guide the Arts, Entertainment and Media ICC at its first official meeting in Washington, DC next month.

The AEMI-ICC was established by the AFL-CIO Executive Council in October, 2005 to address organizing and collective bargaining issues specific to the arts, entertainment, media and media industries. The concept grew out of realization by union leadership at the highest levels of the American Labor movement that, as rampant corporate consolidation and globalization continue to expand, unions must develop and implement new strategies to confront and respond to this growing corporate power. The AFL-CIO recognized the imperative of bringing together unions representing workers within the same industry, occupation, region, or employer in order to harness and apply their collective economic and political strength to the benefit of workers in the most coordinated, effective way possible.

The new Arts, Media & Entertainment ICC met recently in California.
Pictured (L-R): Pamm Fair (SAG), John McGuire (SAG), Paul E. Almeida (AFL-CIO/DPE), Gretchen Koerner (SAG), Thea Lee (AFL-CIO), Sam Folio (AFM), Clarinda Ross (AEA), Kim Roberts Hedgpeth (AFTRA), John Connolly (AFTRA). Also attending the meeting were AEA Third VP Ira Mont and AEA Executive Director Alan Eisenberg

"The ICC has the potential of being a very important committee," observed Equity Executive Director Alan Eisenberg. "The ideas, expertise and understanding of the issues that we bring to the table can be very beneficial to not only the individual unions involved, but to the AFL-CIO and the labor movement as a whole."

Over 500,000 union members work in the arts, media and entertainment industries. They include professional, technical and support workers in over 80 different occupations. Among the occupations represented by labor organizations are actors, recording artists, musicians, reporters, news anchors, cinematographers, screen writers, broadcasters, DJs, hair stylists and makeup artists, set and wardrobe designers, playwrights, animators, stage technicians, audio engineers, editors, production assistants, photographers and broadcast technicians. Thousands of others are involved in production related work of transportation, construction, clerical support and hospitality. Fifteen national unions represent the preponderance of these workers; 10 are affiliated with the AFL-CIO and its Department for Professional Employees (DPE).

In February, Third Vice-President Ira Mont, Councillor Clarinda Ross, Chair of Equity's Strategic Alliance and Merger Committee, and Executive Director Alan Eisenberg attended an informal meeting of the fledgling AEMI Committee in California to hammer out the details. Representatives from SAG, AFTRA, the AFM, and AFL-CIO's Department for Professional Employees also attended. Items on the agenda included international property rights, runaway productions and income tax issues.

The Unions that have been participating in the ICC negotiations now number 11 and include: Actors' Equity Association (AEA), American Federation of Musicians (AFM), American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA), International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET-CWA), Office and Professional Employees (OPEIU), Screen Actors Guild (SAG), The Newspaper Guild (TNG-CWA) and the Writers Guild of America East (WGAE).

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