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What is AFTRA?

(by AM staff)  

      AFTRA is an acronym that stands for the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. AFTRA is a labor union that represents over 70,000 actors, artists and journalists. The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists is the most expansive of all actor labor unions. Not only does the union represent television and commercial actors, it covers personalities who work on talk shows and game shows, instant celebrities who perform on reality television shows, musicians who record CDs and singles, and news broadcasters who report the news, weather and sports. AFTRA even represents performers who speak in educational media and software, such as CD-ROMs.

How Does AFTRA Help Actors?

    Like the other major actor labor unions (the Screen Actors Guild and the Actor’s Equity Association), the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists represents actors in show-business by enforcing collective bargaining agreements, negotiating contracts and payment rates, and provides benefits and services to help actors advance their careers.

Benefits Include:

  • AFTRA negotiates the minimum rates at which their members must be paid.
  • Helps to resolve labor-related disputes between talent and their employers.
  • Comprehensive health benefits, dental plans, prescription drug benefits and substance abuse programs for members
  • Retirement benefits
  • Alerting members to potential opportunities
     

How Do I Join AFTRA?

    Unlike the other major actor unions, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists is an "open union", which means it is very easy to join. Other actor unions require actors to work in union-recognized productions, in addition to the payment of fees, prior to being able to join. However, with AFTRA, actors need only pay a fee to join.



 

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