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AFTRA Rounds Up the Usual Suspects

Strikewatch_blog AFTRA has issued a news release that touts support for its deal from Thomas C. Short, president of IATSE; Michael Apted, president of the DGA; Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO; and Los Angeles Mayor Anthony Villaraigosa.

I read this email and I'm shocked, SHOCKED to find there's ... to find there's ... to find there's ... That second Casablanca joke just isn't there, is it?

Seriously, folks: These endorsements are nice, but they are as surprising as Pat Buchanan's of Augosto Pinochet in '73.

Let us recap, shall we? Short went out of his way to trash the WGA when it was on strike; Apted is the president of the union that settled first this year and broke the log jam; being from the East and not knowing Ms. Durazo and Mr. Villaraigosa personally -- I'm sure they are very nice people -- but methinks they would support anything that keeps Hollywood working. In fact, thw only thing that might peak my interest is why they didn't come sooner.

(And actually? For the record? I don't know Mr. Short and Mr. Apted personally, either, though I believe I have left 427 messages for Mr. Short since the start of the Broadway stagehands strike in November and he has not returned a single one. Not a one. Can you believe that?)

The endorsements are below.

--Andrew Salomon

Michael Apted, President of the Directors Guild of America:

“The DGA applauds the successful conclusion of the AFTRA/AMPTP negotiations. This deal demonstrates that no matter how challenging the issues, when both sides are determined to take a positive approach to problem-solving, concrete advances in jurisdiction, wages and working conditions can be made. We congratulate the strong leadership of Roberta Reardon, Kim Roberts Hedgpeth and the entire AFTRA Negotiating Committee on their successful efforts to improve and preserve the creative and economic rights of AFTRA members.”

Maria Elena Durazo, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO:

“On behalf of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, and the working men and woman of Los Angeles who are engaged in the fight for good jobs, I am very pleased to congratulate members of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, on successfully reaching a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on a new three-year primetime television contract."

Rex Reed, New York Observer:

"I laughed, I cried, it became a part of me."

PSYCH! Just seeing if you read this far.

Thomas C. Short, President of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees:

“I.A.T.S.E. congratulates the tentative agreement negotiated by AFTRA/AMPTP. This tentative agreement demonstrates the difficult challenges confronting complex issues in our industry when responsible parties put working members first; there are generally positive outcomes. This clearly demonstrates that approach being successful. I offer my personal congratulations to the exceptional leadership of Roberta Reardon, Kim Roberts Hedgpeth and the entire AFTRA Negotiating Committee.”

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa:

“I applaud the efforts of AFTRA and the television producers to come to a fair agreement. During these difficult economic times, our top priority is to keep this City working, and I am optimistic that SAG and AMPTP will come to a fair and quick resolution as well.”

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