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    Posted May 20, 2008

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AEA-AFTRA Letter from Presidents Zimmerman, Reardon

Dear AEA and AFTRA Members,

Professional performers work in all media: television, theater, commercials, and emerging technologies such as interactive games and the Internet. Only you can protect your interests, and preserve the fair and decent working conditions that you, as a professional, deserve. You stand with your fellow union members to support efforts ensuring that union rates and conditions apply to all media. This reality rests on a bedrock principle: members of one union should not undermine another union's efforts to organize professional work opportunities. In other words, members of one union should not accept work in another union's jurisdiction without verifying that the second union does not object. They should confirm that the union is neither in the process of organizing the project nor do they have a "do not work" order in place.

For example, both AFTRA and Equity organize various areas by prohibiting their members from accepting employment in these areas unless the employer is signed to the appropriate union's contract; therefore, members of one union may not undermine these organizing efforts by accepting employment in these fields without that appropriate contract in place. A specific instance of this currently applies in what are called "Urban Circuit" tours-AEA is attempting to organize this work; therefore, AFTRA members are prohibited from accepting such employment.

Additional examples include the areas of commercials, recorded books, interactive games, and non-broadcast/industrial programming. AFTRA is attempting to organize this work and Equity members who are not members of AFTRA should not accept work in non-union radio or television commercials, industrials, or recorded books.

The unions require that their members respect sister unions' efforts to organize and negotiate fair and equitable conditions for all performers by ensuring that there is either a union contract in place or that there is no "do not work" order in effect before accepting employment.

Each of the performer unions organizes in different ways-and this can be confusing for you. But the principle is clear: professional performers should stand together with other professional performers and support each other in making sure that-no matter what the medium-performers receive the rates, conditions and respect that their union contracts provide.

Any AEA or AFTRA member who is in doubt about whether a particular job is covered by a union contract should check with the appropriate union or unions whose jurisdiction covers the type of work being offered before accepting employment. If you have any questions, please contact either AEA on the web at or call your AFTRA Local office at the number below.

AFTRA Local Offices
Atlanta (404) 239-0131 New York (212) 532-0800
Boston (617) 262-8001 Philadelphia (215) 732-0507
Chicago (312) 573-8081 Phoenix (623) 687-9977
Cleveland (216) 781-2255 Pittsburgh (412) 281-6767
Dallas/Ft. Worth (214) 363-8300 Portland (503) 279-9600
Denver (720) 932-8228 San Diego (866) 634-8100
Detroit (248) 228-3171 San Francisco (415) 391-7510
Houston (800) 922-3872 Seattle (206) 282-2506
Kansas City (816) 753-4557 St. Louis (314) 231-8410
Los Angeles (323) 634-8100 Tri-State * (513) 579-8668
Miami (305) 571-9891 Twin Cities (651) 789-8990
Nashville (615) 327-2944 Washington/Baltimore (301) 657-2560
New Orleans (800) 330-2387 All Other Locals (866) 855-5191
* Includes Cincinnati, Columbus, & Dayton, OH; Indianapolis, IN. & Louisville, KY.

On behalf of all professional performers, thank you for your continued support of and solidarity with your fellow union members.

In solidarity,

Mark Zimmerman
Actors' Equity Association

Roberta Reardon
American Federation of Television and Radio Artists

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