Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Telemundo Performers to Vote on Joining SAG-AFTRA in Historic Unionization Ballot

The National Labor Relations Board confirmed today Telemundo performers will decide whether to join SAG-AFTRA in an historic vote that could extend union protections to thousands of Spanish-speaking performers in the coming years.

The election, which begins Tuesday, February 7, 2017 and ends Wednesday, March 8, 2017, marks the first time in 65 years that actors at a major television network have taken a vote to the NLRB. A simple “yes” majority will allow Telemundo performers to negotiate for fair pay, residuals, benefits and on-set safety measures—basic protections that NBCUniversal currently extends only to its English-speaking performers at NBC.

The vote comes as NBCUniversal’s Telemundo has surged in prime-time ratings largely due to the success of its telenovelas and other scripted dramatic programming. In fact, Telemundo now bills itself as a top four TV network in the U.S. 

“We are excited to have the opportunity to vote and create a working environment that is fair for everyone in our industry,” said Katie Barberi, an actor with lead and supporting roles in 20 telenovelas. “We are proud of Telemundo’s success, and we believe SAG-AFTRA representation will make it an even better network in the future.” 

The NLRB-administered vote will be conducted by secret ballot, which will be mailed to eligible Telemundo performers. SAG-AFTRA petitioned the NLRB on Friday, December 9, 2016 and called for an election.  

“This vote is about equity, fairness and the fundamental rights of Spanish-speaking actors in this industry and in our country,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris. “We have given Telemundo performers our full support as they take this courageous step and we look forward to welcoming them to our family of 160,000 media and entertainment professionals.” 

For more information, SAG-AFTRA has launched a website for Telemundo performers interested in learning about the campaign and how SAG-AFTRA continues to raise the standard across industries for its membership. Performers can visit to read the statement of support from current members and a full list of supporters that includes Alec Baldwin, Rosario Dawson, Susan Sarandon, Andy García, Chris Rock, Kate del Castillo, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jaime Camil, Rita Moreno, Scarlett Johansson, Zoú Saldana and Bryan Cranston.

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