Winter 2021

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 15 of 121

14 SAG-AFTRA | Winter 2021 | Letter from the National Executive Director Dear Member, W e have just closed the chapter on this uniquely difficult year for our union and for the country as a whole. To be sure, significant challenges for our members and staff await as we begin the long journey toward a "post-pandemic" life, now that vaccines have been approved. Yet, thankfully, when the pandemic is finally behind us, we will be well positioned as an organization to support and protect our members in 2021 and beyond. There is good reason to have a sense of relief with last year behind us. We began 2020 on a high note on so many fronts: record-breaking earnings for members and revenue for the union, a string of broadcast organizing victories, and continued progress in key areas such as legislative advocacy and member engagement in locals across the nation. Then, when COVID-19 arrived and the industry abruptly shut down in March, the world shifted dramatically. With a few notable exceptions (broadcast journalism, voiceover recording), the virus brought work, travel and community routines to a virtual standstill. We immediately focused our attention on the critical task of protecting our members and staff, safeguarding our institutions and working in partnership with others to ensure the industry could recover as quickly as possible. Although the year has been full of heartache for families across the globe, it is important to see as well the positive work that has emerged in response to this grave ordeal, and the foundation it lays for the future. The safety protocols negotiated by the unions and studios are rightly praised by observers across the country as a unique triumph of industrywide collaboration. At the time of this writing, the data indicates that our production sets remain safe work environments despite the surge in community infection rates in various North American cities. This trend will help to ensure the jobs that are thankfully returning for members will continue to expand in number, providing critical wages for our members and their families, opportunities for small businesses that play such a vital role in production, and revenue for the stressed institutions throughout the industry. The year was also shaped by the energy of the Black Lives Matter movement and related efforts to expand the issue of equity and inclusiveness. As a union, we added our voice and advocacy to this issue, particularly within the labor movement. We opened our community platforms to amplify the voice of people of color, women, LGBTQ+, persons with disabilities and others who continue to demand a seat at the proverbial table. We have continued our work to deepen the industry's commitment to the role of intimacy coordinators, and we have recently established a task force to address the issue of equity and inclusiveness within our stunt community. These efforts will lead to valuable results and change in the months and years to come. On the operations front, we continue to make progress with organizing, particularly in the area of broadcast news. Our commitment remains undiminished to advance technology and workflow process to ensure constant improvements to member services. Each of these changes will translate into significant upgrades to your union experience as a member. As the new year unfolds before us, I hope this message finds you and your families safe, and that you were able to enjoy the season's holidays. In solidarity and looking forward, David White D AV I D W H I T E "Our commitment remains undiminished to advance technology and workflow process to ensure constant improvements to member services."

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of SAG-AFTRA - Winter 2021