The Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television & Radio Artists have taken steps aimed at merging.
SAG's national board of directors voted unanimously on April 30 to approve the establishment of a 13-member task force to work with their AFTRA counterparts in developing a formal plan to merge. The group set a goal of January for approval of the plan by the national boards.
AFTRA's board is set to meet May 14 to approve the creation of an AFTRA 13-member task force.
Those moves could lead to a vote by next May on the merger by the 120,000 members of SAG and the 70,000 members of AFTRA on the merger. Some 45,000 are members of both groups.
"The message from SAG and AFTRA members across the country has been clear - they want this done as soon as possible," said SAG president Ken Howard in a statement. "If our boards approve the merger plan in January, our members will make the final decision through a referendum vote less than a year from now."