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Screen Actors Guild remembers Reagan

LOS ANGELES, June 7 (UPI) -- Reacting to the death of her predecessor, Ronald Reagan, Screen Actors Guild President Melissa Gilbert said the union's influence grew under his leadership.

Reagan, who died at 93 Saturday, served as SAG president from 1947-52 and again from 1959-60.

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"Ronald Reagan presided over Screen Actors Guild at one of the most challenging moments in our union's history, as the rise of television significantly impacted the compensation and working conditions for the nation's screen actors," said Gilbert. "Under his tenure, SAG grew significantly in size and influence as the Guild tackled issues ranging from runaway production, to fair compensation, to unity in an increasingly complex industry -- all issues that remain timely to working actors today."

Gilbert noted that while former U.S. president's labor policies were problematic for organized labor, she credited Reagan with making progress for unionized actors.

"While President Reagan's politics grew conservative over the years and, at times, at odds with the nation's labor movement, there can be no question that he devoted years of his life to advancing the wages, benefits and working conditions of his fellow actors," she said.

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