Equity’s general secretary Paul Fleming says ongoing disruption to film and TV production in the UK is “necessary” to help with UK unions’ own negotiations with studios and producers.
“What we’re seeing is that the longer the dispute goes on, the deeper it will go and the more intractable it will go and the more the UK industry will go cold,” Fleming said. “That’s necessary to ensure we’re in the best possible position to win, just as big as SAG AFTRA will win, with our own negotiation through the coming months.”
He spoke on a Monday night (August 21, 2010) webinar that brought together members from the UK’s Bectu, Equity, and unio unions with SAG AFTRA’s chief negotiater Duncan Crabtree Ireland to update on the US actor’s strike that’s having a major impact on UK production.
Fleming warned a strike in the UK with PACT (Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television) “may well” happen within the 12 months if onoing UK negotiations around pay, the use of Artifical Intelligence (AI) and other similar issues to the ones over which US actors are striking are not successful.
“Those agreements are as strong as SAG-AFTRA agreements. Fleming said that we must ensure that any agreement that SAG-AFTRA reaches is reflected in the quality of our conditions or terms. There may be ongoing disruptions as time passes. There’s a real incentive for the AMPTP (Alliance Of Motion Picture And Television Producers) and indeed, British producers, British arms of American producers, global producers, to put more pressure on so as the industrial unrest does not spread this side of the Atlantic on our agreements through our negotiations.”
Fleming addressed the provisions being put in place to ensure UK actors are not being used as “a workaround” to the SAG-AFTRA strike.
“What we will not tolerate is jobs being recast when they have previously been offered to American artists, with British artists, even if they are on our agreements. Fleming added that we are policing this very, very firmly.
“We’ve had a few cases where we’ve seen members being asked to cover work that was shot elsewhere or could have been an American artists job,” he said.
“We’re doing all we can to make sure that this does not impact, and in fact impact, on people’s safety and health at work.” We’re taking that position very clearly with our members.”
“We see your hurting”
SAG-AFTRA’s Crabtree-Ireland expressed his appreciation for the UK’s solidarity while acknowledging the economic hardships faced by crew members working on US productions in the UK. We’re taking that as a very clear position with our members.”
“We see your hurting”
SAG-AFTRA’s Crabtree-Ireland showed his appreciation for the UK’s solidarity while acknowledging the economic hardships that have been faced by crew members working on US productions in the UK.
“I want to acknowledge the significant economic impact that both the writers’ strike as well as our strike has had on people. “I know that this includes crew members, and people who are not themselves specifically part these units that are striking, but whose employment opportunities, their livelihoods have all been affected,” he told the more than 500 Equity members and Bectu listeners to the webinar. We also want to point out that these strikes are only happening because these companies refused a fair deal with our members. You know that there was no reason for a strike to be called.”