An ugly feud between two actors unions burst into the open Monday, with the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists accusing its sister union of breaching a 26-year-old bargaining agreement, the Los Angeles Times reports.


AFTRA and the larger Screen Actors Guild have been jointly negotiating contracts under a so-called Phase 1 Agreement adopted in 1981.


But that solidarity threatened to unravel Monday when AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon blasted a decision by the SAG board to change the way votes are counted on a joint negotiating committee.


Traditionally, each union has had 13 seats on a 26-member negotiating panel, with each member having one vote.


Concerned that AFTRA had too much pull, SAG's board voted this summer to switch to a system whereby SAG representatives would vote as a bloc, with a simple majority counting as 13 votes.


Reardon said the change breached the agreement and called on SAG to rescind its decision at a meeting Saturday.


"There is no other conclusion than that SAG has unfortunately terminated the joint bargaining agreement," she said.

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