While the world’s eyes Sunday night were focused on the actors, video clips and red carpet gowns at the 79th Academy Awards show, their ears were being treated to melodies and rhythms—both in the Oscar-winning films and live broadcast—of the members of Professional Musicians/AFM Local 47.
Local 47 members composed and performed on the musical scores of 10 films that received 39 Oscar nominations and won 10 Oscars.
In New Orleans this Super Bowl week, there are plenty of fans sporting 49ers' red and gold caps and jerseys and Ravens' purple and black gear. But there also are thousands of union members—including many from unions in the Greater New Orleans AFL-CIO (GNO)—who proudly display their union label and are making the game possible and the fan experience in the Crescent City run smoothly.
The red carpet and swanky evening wear added a dash of Hollywood drama to solidarity as members of SAG-AFTRA came together last night to hand out top prizes for performances at the 19th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center.
A neighborhood on the eastern edge of the L.A. basin and shorthand for the movie and television industries, Hollywood had its own city charter for fewer than 10 years before being annexed by Los Angeles in 1910. By joining L.A., it gained access to the water supply then beginning to flow by aqueduct from the Owens Valley, 233 miles to the north.
D.W. Griffith, Cecil B. DeMille and Charlie Chaplin filmed there but now, in fact, studios and related businesses are situated throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan area, with particular concentrations in Culver City, Burbank, the San Fernando Valley and—of course—the part of town known as Hollywood.
This is a cross-post from Labor's Edge by Rebecca Band of the California Labor Federation.
For decades, performers have been coming together in unions to bargain for fair protections and decent working conditions. And this year, actors and performers took their collective voice to the next level by voting overwhelmingly to merge the two biggest entertainment and media industry unions—Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA)—into one big union, SAG-AFTRA. Actress Gabrielle Carteris, who starred as Andrea Zuckerman on the original series Beverly Hills, 90210, has been actively involved with the merger for nearly two years, a process which she describes as “exciting, challenging, inspiring and historic.” Carteris spoke with Labor's Edge for a Q and A on the merger and her involvement in the labor movement.
With workers’ rights under attack, new labor partnerships like the merger of SAG-AFTRA “represents a bright spot in the union movement," said SAG-AFTRA Co-President Roberta Reardon.
SAG-AFTRA today received a national charter from the AFL-CIO. SAG-AFTRA joins 55 other unions, comprising more than 12 million working men and women, under the AFL-CIO banner. SAG and AFTRA voted to merge earlier this year.
Earlier this spring, we highlighted the creative action by dancers and other music video performers as they mobilized for a fair contract—and they now have one. SAG-AFTRA and the Dancers' Alliance reached the first-ever industry-wide contract to cover dancers and other performers on music videos with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, EMI Music and The Walt Disney Co.
“That was the turning point for a lot of actors," said actor Susan Sarandon to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka about the national commercial actors strike 12 years ago. "It wasn’t until we felt threatened that we realized the importance of our union.”
In a casual moment in a midtown Manhattan hotel Friday evening, Sarandon, a longtime member of SAG-AFTRA, and Trumka spoke at length before she introduced him to a gathering held by Local 1 of the American Federation of School Administrators.
Members of the Screen Actors (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) have overwhelmingly approved merging their unions into one, SAG/AFTRA, the unions announced this afternoon in Los Angeles.