UK entertainment union Equity is “strike-ready” ahead of its negotiations with producers trade body Pact, according to Equity general secretary Paul Fleming.
Speaking at the rally in solidarity with SAG-AFTRA in London today (July 21), Fleming told Screen, “Strike action is a means to an end, not an end in itself. The question as to whether we go on strike, as part of our negotiations that are coming up, is down to the producers – it’s their question to answer.
“The union for the first time in a generation is strike-ready; strike-ready to stop productions undermining American disputes, and we’re strike-ready as we go into our negotiations over the next year.”
Fleming was referring to the negotiations between Equity and Pact to take place over the next 12 months. The ” If we haven’t met a good conclusion in the spring then that is an option on the table.”
Star attendance[for a strike]A crowd of over 500 people gathered in London’s Leicester Square for the Equity rally, with a simultaneous rally taking place in Manchester.
Actors who attended the London rally included
star Brian Cox, Mission: Impossible‘s Hayley Atwell and Simon Pegg, David Oyelowo, Tobias Menzies, Sheila Atim, Imelda Stauntion, Jim Carter, Andy Serkis, Rakie Ayola and Penelope Wilton.The event was hosted by US actor Rob Delaney, who lives in the UK, with speeches from Cox, Ayola, Fleming, Equity president Lynda Rooke, Philippa Childs, head of UK union Bectu, former shadow chancellor John McDonnell and Eddie Dempsey, general secretary of the RMT (a UK transport union).On the question of whether the strikes are hurting UK crew through US productions over here being shut down, Fleming said, “Everybody involved in the entertainment industry, whether it be crew, ushers in cinemas, who are worried about their jobs – the huge thing is ‘thank you’.”
“They’ve got the same bosses, they face the same problems. We People