A squabble within
SAG-AFTRA maintains that the closing is necessary to create more efficiencies within the sprawling labor organization, which formed last year from the merger of the two performers' unions.
But in a sharply worded letter to SAG-AFTRA Executive Director
"I would normally not engage in internal union operations such as the location of local union offices,'' Kitzhaber wrote in a letter to White. "However, this situation goes beyond local union operations and is more akin to a local business leaving Oregon: This is an economic development issue. Your union's presence in this state is an economic asset for Oregon, and closing this office is problematic for Oregon as would be the loss of any business."
Film industry backers have cited the economic benefits of television shows such as NBC's
"Oregon is invested in your industry and your local members. I urge SAG-AFTRA to reconsider its decision to leave Oregon without a local office so that we can continue to grow this industry, create good jobs and increase SAG-AFTRA membership in our state," Kitzhaber added in his letter.
A spokeswoman for SAG-AFTRA responded: "We love the fact that Gov. Kitzhaber is so supportive of our members and appreciate his desire to expand the work of our industry in Oregon. We agree with him and expect to continue our good work with his offices to advance the interests of our membership. Whether or not we have a physical office in this state will not change this fact. We are working to bring more effective services and support to all SAG-AFTRA members, wherever they live and work around the globe."