September 18, 2021

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Fran Dreser elected president of SAG-AFTRA

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Fran Dreser has been elected president of the SAG-Eftra, a victory for the party that has led the union for a dozen years.

But Jolie Fisher য who campaigned for rival membership in the First Slate নির্বাচিত has been elected secretary-treasurer.

Dresser will replace Gabriel Carteris, who has led the organization since 2016. Known best for her lead role in “The Nanny”, Dresser led United for Strength Slate, which has controlled the union since 2009 and is seen as more moderate than the two factions that dominate the union’s internal politics.

In a campaign video, Dresser said he would bring “positivity and optimism” to his role as union president.

He defeated Matthew Modin, whose credits include “Full Metal Jacket” and “Stranger Things” and who is making his second bid for president in the membership first slate. Membership First has been around since 1999, and usually takes more militant lines to negotiate a deal.

Fisher won against Anthony Rapp, who was secretary-treasurer at the Unit for Strength Slate.

The two largest locals in the union in Los Angeles and New York are also voting for them today.

The main theme of the national campaign was the August 2020 decision to increase the eligibility limit for the SAG-AFTRA health plan. The decision forced about 12,000 actors – mostly seniors – away from the healthcare roll. The trustees of the health plan argued that they had little choice because of the rising health costs and the dire financial situation due to the Covid-1 pandemic epidemic.

The Unit for Strength candidates did not defend the decision, but insisted that the health plan was a separate entity. However, 20 of the 38 health plan trustees are appointed by the union.

Membership First Slate argued that the precarious financial condition of the health plan predicted an epidemic and kept union leadership members in the dark about it. They backed a lawsuit last December involving 10 plan participants, including the late Ed Asner, who was responsible for SAG’s and AFTRA’s decision to merge nearly a decade ago. Dresser called the case “trivial” and argued that it was a waste of members’ money.

Dissatisfied Slate further complained that Dresser was very inexperienced, and had not previously been involved in union politics. At Zoom’s Unit for Strength Town Hall, Dresser cites her decades of activism and philanthropic work on issues such as cancer and sexual violence.

“What I don’t know, I promise you I’ll learn very quickly, and what I know can’t be taught,” he said.

Ballot counting is usually open to observers of each campaign. However, due to the epidemic, election observers were forced to watch the zoom counting process instead.

Before the results were released on Thursday, Carteres sent a farewell message to members, highlighting the union’s work on tackling sexual harassment and adapting to the rise of streaming.

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