Two actors from the original series have joined more than forty actors who are against a merger of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of television and Radio Artists (AFTRA).
The merger of SAG and AFTRA would combine SAG’s 140,000 members and AFTRA’s 80,000 members, some of whom have membership in both groups.
“We are confident our members will agree that we have created something we can all be proud of — actors, singers, broadcasters, dancers, voiceover artists, background actors, stunt persons and all entertainment and media professionals that will be represented by this new union,” said Ken Howard and Roberta Reardon, national presidents of SAG and AFTRA, in a statement last month.
“The consensus process allowed our [negotiating committee members to fully discuss, debate and reach agreement on critical provisions that form a strong foundation for a single union that will protect and strengthen the future for all our members,” they added.
However, the actors against the merger, which includes Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) and Malachi Throne (Commodore Jose Mendez in The Menagerie, and Pardek in TNG’s Unification Parts I and II ), disagree and have filed a lawsuit to stop the merger vote. The group of actors believes that the merger would have an adverse impact on health and pension benefits. SAG is asking members to “take a blindfolded high dive without knowing whether there is any water in the pool,” the group said in the suit.
“We believe that this suit is completely without merit and we will vigorously defend all claims in court,” said SAG, in response to the lawsuit. “We are confident that our actions are appropriate and consistent with the law and our own rules of procedure.”
The lawsuit document, in PDF form, may be seen at Deadline.