New York – The National Council of Actors’ Equity Association – the national labor union representing more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers working in live theatre – has unanimously approved the following resolution regarding police unions.

This resolution was approved at the July 21, 2020 Council meeting and was crafted by the Black members of the Council.

This resolution comes following Council’s previous resolution declaring that #BlackLivesMatter.

The resolution states:

As an affiliated union of the AFL-CIO, Actors’ Equity Association strongly supports the right of workers to unionize.

This does not bind us to stand behind any union that harbors members who exhibit and practice corrupt and criminal behavior. Further, it is our belief that municipal funds need to be used to ensure economic, social, and democratic freedoms for all, with particular attention to Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities who have been historically marginalized. We, the governing body of Actors’ Equity Association, hereby issue the following:

Actors’ Equity Association publicly condemns any union that enables or protects its own members who participate in acts resulting in the mistreatment, degradation and or death of BIPOC. 

We hereby urge local, state, and national labor entities to demand that law enforcement unions immediately enact policies, corrective practices and training, and address racism within their ranks.  We also implore those same entities to demand that said unions devise a transparent and continuous process to hold their members accountable for violence and discriminatory behavior against BIPOC.  We shall be vocal in this matter using all means available to us until sustained and measurable change is demonstrated.

As an affiliated union of the AFL-CIO, we support the AFL-CIO in any future action it may need to take to ensure these demands are met, up to and including the disaffiliation or expulsion of the International Union of Police Associations, and we urge the AFL-CIO to pursue these demands by any means available.

ACTORS' EQUITY ASSOCIATION, founded in 1913, is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers. Equity endeavors to advance the careers of its members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits (health and pension included). Member: AFL-CIO, FIA.  #EquityWorks  

July 24, 2020