Fall 2018

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Page 14 of 117 | Fall 2018 | SAG-AFTRA 13 D AV I D W H I T E A Letter from the National Executive Director "We must continue to confront these issues in the belief that we can be victorious. We are not without weapons in our fight and we must stay engaged." fair share for the costs of establishing and negotiating those contracts. This ruling, which endorses the concept of "freeloaders" benefiting from the work of others, is appalling on many levels. While that case made headlines, it is only one of several that attempt to chip away at a professional's right to have a strong voice in their work environment, in both public and private business settings. Right-to-Work laws represent another strategy to accomplish these rollbacks. Such laws are often sold to voters as giving economic freedom to businesses and citizens alike, but they actually serve to reinforce the "freeloader" concept referenced above. Currently, 27 states have such laws and several legislatures across the country are quietly attempting to expand this number. As the battles over this legislation are fought in the public arena, however, there is some reason for optimism here. The recent victory in Missouri, where citizens defeated Proposition A, will serve as a template to follow in other states where this fight continues. I am quite proud to say that, with two locals based in that state (including in my hometown, Kansas City), SAG-AFTRA was at the center of this battle and made a sizable impact. Our president, Gabrielle Carteris, was on the ground with local members and supporters. We successfully engaged our high-profile members who, in the case of John Goodman, provided the voice for a radio ad that helped move the needle against this proposed legislation. Finally, Missouri Valley Local Executive Director Maureen O'Brien was a single- handed force of nature during this campaign. The combined force of our efforts, working alongside sister unions and other organizations, turned the tide and reminded us all that collective action continues to have power in this country. This message of power is essential for us as we continue our advocacy efforts. Many of you have followed our singular fight against IMDbPro's ability to facilitate age discrimination in our industry through their casting portal. And many of you have actively supported our efforts to battle against the face-swapping technology, known as "deepfakes," that's increasingly used to digitally superimpose the faces of our members – and of any person – onto unauthorized, and often damaging imagery. We must continue to confront these issues in the belief that we can be victorious. We are not without weapons in our fight and we must stay engaged. In solidarity and looking forward, David White Dear Member, I n my last letter, I began the conversation about the ongoing Business Revolution that is roiling our industries. This has resulted in changes to your work environment and the operational challenges facing all unions, particularly in the media and entertainment space. However, as I draft this letter, we are approaching the 2018 elections, which regardless of your political temperament, is a moment for us all to consider the impact of shifting regulatory policy across the country. To honor the electoral calendar, I will turn our focus to the Regulatory Revolution underway simultaneously with a changing business landscape. First, Washington has shown an appetite for increased media conglomeration by greenlighting major mergers and acquisitions, a subject discussed in my previous letter and with significant implications for us all. But judges and policymakers everywhere are also in the process of rolling back worker protections across the regulatory landscape. Some of this comes in transparent packages. The Supreme Court ruling in Janus vs. AFSCME is a clear example. There the court decided that public sector workers who are not union members but are covered under a union contract do not have to pay their

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