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ACTRA Finds Strength in Numbers
By Staff

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(November 2, 2011 - Toronto, Ontario) The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) has signed a pact with the cross-border American Federation of Musicians-Canadian Federation of Musicians (AFM-CFM) creating a formal strategic and friendship alliance in order to promote solidarity and greater unity of purpose between the two unions.

ACTRA represents the interests of 22,000 members across Canada and is the foundation of Canada's highly acclaimed professional performing community.

"This alliance formalizes the long-standing and mutually-beneficial relationship that ACTRA and the AFM/CFM have had for more than 60 years," said Ferne Downey (pictured), ACTRA's National President. "Our members work side-by-side, and<Ferne Downey> in many cases, are members of both of our unions. It only makes sense that we would strengthen our bond and work closely together to promote our mutual interests."

"This new step in our relationship will provide even more opportunities for cooperation while respecting the autonomy and jurisdiction of both unions," said Bill Skolnik, Vice President from Canada for AFM-CFM.

Like most unions, ACTRA and AFM-CFM share a common focus on collective bargaining, organizing, member service and political action. The two organizations have worked together in the past. For example, since 2001, ACTRA has provided contracted services to AFM-CFM and its assignees for the collection and distribution of remuneration to performers and musicians collected under the Copyright Act. They have also worked together on various public policy issues, both domestically and internationally at the World Intellectual Property Organization.

"This new alliance will make both unions stronger as we tackle the challenges of representing performers and musicians in the global digital business environment," said Ray Hair, International President, AFM-CFM.

With a more formal understanding between the two unions, the future should allow for a greater pooling of resources as well as providing more support to each other on issues of collective bargaining, organizing and public policy initiatives.

Downey was elected ACTRA National President by acclamation in 2009.

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