Talking Points

The (3) Voices of UW

Union CredoFi-Core TruthsDid You Know

This is information you can use when talking to a member who is thinking of going Financial Core, has gone F-core and/or working Off the Card.

The main issue which should be discussed is “Does financial core make SAG-AFTRA stronger or weaker?” The answer is obviously weaker, as these talking points will illustrate.

UnionWorking is joining the burgeoning Labor Rights Movement. We are not out to Change The World, but we are fighting to save our little part of it.

Our fight against the non-union destruction of our Industry is bigger than just us. Our actions to preserve our Union will maintain wages and working conditions for all workers, because Unions set the Standard of Living for All Workers, Union and Non-union.

Union Credo

HONOR GLOBAL RULE ONE: Only accept union work as union members. ONE THING ONLY – DON’T WORK OFF THE CARD. (To be a good union member, pay your dues and don’t work off the card. That’s it.)

Union members know unions set the standard of living for ALL WORKERS, even non-union workers. Without unions, the standards for wages and workplace conditions go away.

MULTI-NATIONAL CONGLOMERATES AND CORPORATIONS WANT UNIONS TO DISAPPEAR so they can cut our wages, benefits, and workplace safety standards.

By working non-union, a union member is helping them hurt ALL WORKERS.

Fi-Core Truths

1989 SUPREME COURT CASE: Harry Beck, an AT&T employee and union member, did not want his union dues being used by his union for political and social agendas which were an affront to his core beliefs. Anti-Union factions took up his cause and pushed it through the Supreme Court.

SCOTUS PRESERVED HARRY BECK’S FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS: Harry Beck, now a “fee-paying non-member,” was allowed to pay reduced fees (not dues), while still maintaining his Union Wage, Protections, Health and Pension, all in order to preserve his core beliefs as a free person. He only lost his Union voting privileges and could not attend Union functions. Harry Beck’s goal was not to hurt his Union, but only to protect his personal freedom of expression. A MORAL VICTORY FOR HARRY!

ANTI-UNION FACTIONS EXPLOITED THE SUPREME COURT RULING by subsequently arguing that if a worker is a fee-paying “non-member” of a Union, that worker cannot be stopped by the “Tyranny of The Union” from making a living by taking non-union work when no union work is available.

Therefore, F-CORE SHOULD NOT APPLY TO SAG-AFTRA because: 1) Our Union does not directly finance any political or social agenda. 2) Union Members always have Union Work available to them.

A SAG-AFTRA member going F-core is exploiting a labor loophole carved out by anti-union lawmakers backed by anti-union corporations.

F-core = VERY EFFECTIVE UNION-BUSTING TOOL: When fee-paying non-members work non-union, producers do not pay 17% of actor wages and residuals into SAG-AFTRA Pension and Health. Yet, the Union is still required to provide F-core actors with Pension and Health. Thus, F-core depletes the Union accounts needed to pay for these benefits; no benefit contributions go in, but benefit payments go out effectively bankrupting our Union.

ANTI-UNION FACTIONS KNOW WHEN THERE ARE NO UNION BENEFITS, THERE IS NO BENEFIT TO JOINING A UNION. WHEN THERE IS NO HEALTH AND PENSION, THERE IS NO UNION.

F-CORE DESTROYS THE PRESENT AND FUTURE OF COMMERCIAL ACTING: There are no GUARANTEES that an Actor will ever make a living in Show Business. Nevertheless, SAG-AFTRA GUARANTEES a FAIR WAGE and WORKPLACE PROTECTION when Union Members work Union Jobs. Non-union work is not even a short-term gain. GOING F-CORE OR WORKING OFF THE CARD GUARANTEES NONE OF US WILL EVER BE ABLE TO MAKE A LIVING BY DOING COMMERCIALS EVER AGAIN.

ECONOMY 101
  • Labor is seen as a corporate cost to be cut.
  • Working off the card gives hard-fought union wages away to corporate CEOs and shareholders, creating even greater Income Inequality.
  • The last FORTY YEARS have seen WORKER WAGES STAGNATE while PROFITS, PRODUCTIVITY, and especially CEO SALARIES, HAVE INCREASED.
  • LABOR HELPS PRODUCE THE PROFITS, but rarely shares in the profits.
  • PROFITS ARE FUNNELED TO THE SHAREHOLDERS to MAXIMIZE THEIR BENEFITS. “Maximizing Shareholder Benefits” is the Wall Street disease that is killing Main Street, dismantling Labor Laws, and causing Income Inequality.
  • WGA negotiations proved that this disease can be cured and that profits need to be shared for our industry to survive and thrive.
  • Media conglomerates who pay the writers make a large chunk of their profits from advertising revenue. These conglomerates reported billions in profits the last few years. Corporate advertising budgets are fueling these profits.
  • ADVERTISING MONEY STILL EXISTS, IT IS JUST NOT TRICKLING DOWN TO LABOR.
  • COST CONSULTANTS are the bane of Advertising Agencies and one of the main drivers behind the push to produce NON-UNION COMMERCIALS.
  • COST CONSULTANTS promise to hold a brand’s hand as they guide them through the advertising production process, cutting costs at every opportunity. They promote ELIMINATING SAG-AFTRA COMPENSATION which is a small percentage of the overall commercial budget and replacing it with non-union compensation of an even smaller percentage.
  • COST CONSULTANTS MAKE THEIR MONEY BY TAKING OUR MONEY.
  • CORPORATE BRANDS ARE SHOOTING MORE NON-UNION, NOT BECAUSE THEY NEED TO, BUT BECAUSE THEY CAN. They will only stop when their bottom line is adversely affected.
  • WORKING OFF THE CARD HELPS CORPORATE BRANDS IMPROVE THEIR BOTTOM LINE AT OUR EXPENSE; they don’t have to make a better product, they just need to cut labor costs.
  • WORKING OFF THE CARD GIVES AID AND SUPPORT TO THESE ANTI-LABOR FACTIONS OUT TO DESTROY UNIONS TO INCREASE PROFITS SHARED BY THE FEW.
CHANGING COMMERCIAL MARKETPLACE AND INDUSTRY
  • SAG-AFTRA NEEDS TO ADAPT to commercials being produced faster and shown across many different platforms.
  • SAG-AFTRA NEEDS TO STREAMLINE the contract process to become more user-friendly to producers.
  • WE ARE SAG-AFTRA, the membership drives these changes by informing the leadership which direction we need to move.
  • MEMBERSHIP MAKES THE CHANGE, because we are the boots on the ground, we have firsthand knowledge and experience of our changing industry.
  • SAG-AFTRA STAFF AND LEADERSHIP DESERVE OUR COMMITMENT AND LOYALTY, not just our complaints and criticism.
  • STAFF AND LEADERSHIP WORK FOR THE COMMON GOOD of our union. Our union is only as strong as its membership.
  • SAG-AFTRA MEMBERSHIP IS THE FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE. We need to form a member to member alliance across all unions to stop this corporate catastrophe.
  • WE NEED TO CHANGE AND IMPROVE THE WAY WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE THINGS FOR THE PAST 40 YEARS, OR SAG-AFTRA WILL DISAPPEAR.
  • WE ARE THE SOLUTION TO OUR CHANGING INDUSTRY. WE MUST REFUSE TO LET OURSELVES DISAPPEAR.
UNION = PROFESSIONALISM = VALUE
  • A BIOLOGY MAJOR CANNOT CALL HIMSELF A DOCTOR JUST AS AN INEXPERIENCED ACTOR CANNOT CALL HIMSELF A PROFESSIONAL.
  • ACHIEVING UNION STATUS MEANS EXPERIENCE, COMMITMENT TO THE CRAFT, A WORKING KNOWLEDGE OF THE INDUSTRY.
  • WORKING UNION MEANS YOU AGREE TO THE CONTRACT WRITTEN BY MEMBERSHIP.
  • WORKING UNION MEANS THAT WHEN THE NEGOTIATIONS ARE OVER, THE TERMS WILL BE HONORED, UNION WAGES WILL BE PAID, AND PROBLEMS WILL BE SOLVED.
  • WORKING UNION MEANS YOU HAVE THE SKILL TO NOT ONLY GET THE PROJECT DONE, BUT TO MAKE IT BETTER.
  • A UNION MEMBER WORKING NON-UNION DELETES ALL OF THE ABOVE.

Did You Know

  • NON-UNION COMBO PLATTER — CONFLICTS, OVEREXPOSURE, UNION-BUSTING (PICK 3)
  • NON-UNION BOOKINGS KILL UNION BOOKINGS: No Producer will hire an ACTOR for a union project, or any project, when that ACTOR’S FACE is appearing in five non-union commercials on the internet, social media, and broadcast TV.
  • NON-UNION PAY IS NOT A LIVING WAGE: An actor will have to book 8-10 non-union spots to make the same amount of money for 2 union spots. Even if an actor can book ten non-union spots (a big if!), that actor has capped his earnings at $25,000 for the year. After taxes, that goes down to $20k. After agent commission, $15k. Not a Living Wage anywhere in America.
  • NON-UNION CONFLICTS: Even if the non-union spot is not holding conflicts, every Union commercial production checks a potential actor’s social media, IMDb, and iSpot. If that actor has done a non-union spot for a competitor, that actor will not be cast.
  • THE VERY RARE $25k NON-UNION BUYOUT FOR ONE YEAR: Working off the card on this project just saved a Corporate Brand from making a $4,250 contribution to SAG-AFTRA Pension & Health. The Brand ALSO saved thousands more not paying union residuals and not hiring a Payroll Company to distribute that possible extra $15,000 in residuals had the project been Union. Most importantly, this actor took the bait of “almost union compensation” to collude with this corporate brand to bust his or her own union.
  • NON-UNION ADDICTION: A union actor who proudly boasts about booking six non-union spots and two union spots in the last year has to be told he or she has a NON-UNION ADDICTION. This actor is probably supporting this non-union addiction with union gigs and a side job. This Actor needs HELP. The more non-union work this actor does, the less Union work he or she will get. A VICIOUS DOWNWARD SPIRAL OF SELF-DESTRUCTION FUELED BY NON-UNION ADDICTION. THIS ACTOR NEEDS TO BE TOLD TO BUY AN OLD VAN AND FIND A BRIDGE TO LIVE UNDER ASAP. (Not funny, because it’s true.)