FIA-LA unions support SAG-AFTRA’s organizing campaign at Telemundo

FIA-LA News Press-releases

Brussels, 3 April 2017: On Friday, March 31, the Latin American group of FIA (FIA-LA) approved a resolution in support of SAG-AFTRA’s successful organizing efforts at Telemundo, including a unanimous declaration that the unions will urge their members not to permit Telemundo to move productions to their countries in retaliation for the actors voting to unionize with SAG-AFTRA.

The Spanish-speaking performers at Telemundo voted by an overwhelming majority of 81% to be represented at the bargaining table by SAG-AFTRA, in what constituted a historic election in the United States, despite Telemundo’s unsuccessful campaign to frighten actors into voting against unionization. Telemundo insinuated, among other threats, that it might move its productions outside of the USA as a consequence of any successful organizing effort. Such an action would leave most of their performers effectively unemployed.

The new bargaining unit will cover actors, stunt performers, singers, and dancers working on Telemundo’s telenovelas produced in the U.S. It could significantly improve the working conditions of these artists, giving them access to benefits that their English-speaking counterparts have had access to for years.

“As an organization whose mandate is to advocate for better wages and working conditions for performers, and to advance their economic and social rights, we support the efforts of the Telemundo talent to stand up against discrimination and double standards. By becoming a part of the SAG-AFTRA family, they can win their fight for fair wages, health and retirement plans and other benefits they have long been unfairly denied,” said Ferne Downey, president of FIA.

“FIA-LA’s member unions know as well as anyone the importance of solidarity and standing together against employer intimidation. As part of the global community of artists, today we take an unequivocal stand supporting SAG-AFTRA’s representation of Telemundo performers. We stand together, united, against any efforts to undermine their bargaining and continued employment,” said Andrea Gutierrez Vasquez, president of FIA-LA.

FIA-LA is the Latin American group of the International Federation of Actors. It currently includes affiliated performers’ unions, guilds and professional associations in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Uruguay.

Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) is a United States-based labor union representing approximately 160,000 film and television performers, journalists, recording artists and radio personalities worldwide. SAG-AFTRA was certified by the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on March 20, 2017, to represent the hundreds of Spanish-speaking artists working at the NBCUniversal-owned network, Telemundo.

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