UNI MEI Global Working Group on film and TV production launched

Unions from all regions came together in Brussels at the end of April for the first meeting of UNI MEI’s global working group on film and TV production. The unions responded to the call from the organisation’s Executive Committee to nominate delegates to the newly established working group.

The objectives of the working group are to facilitating union to union cooperation and to elaborating and steering actions, projects and campaigns of UNI MEI.

This first meeting allowed to define the scope of the group’s work priorities. At the same time, it was the kick off meeting for the new project “promoting dignity and preventing violence at work behind screen and set” and allowed to plan for the workshop on working conditions in international productions and co-productions scheduled for 18 October in Madrid. The group also took advantage of the opportunity to exchange information on key developments in each country.

The group agreed that UNI MEI should organise a structured and regular exchange of information on organising and union campaigns, collective bargaining and standards. Through this process, the group wants to elaborate joint priorities for standards in production as for example on minimum breaks and turnaround that all unions will seek to set in their jurisdiction and UNI will campaign for with international employers’ associations and regulatory bodies.

The roundtable exchange shed a light on the progress that has been made during the last years with more collective agreements being concluded covering a growing number of staff and freelance workers in production. Unions are driving dedicated organising campaigns. Membership as well as the number of activists are increasing. However, the cut in budgets, outsourcing, discrimination as well as a generalised global long-hours work culture remain important challenges to dignity at work in production that unions in UNI MEI want to tackle together.

One tool to organise this joint work is the new project on promoting dignity and preventing violence at work behind screen and set that seeks to address the challenges workers and unions face in international productions and co-productions regarding working conditions and violence at work. The project runs until the end of 2020 and is co-financed by the European Commission.

The project seeks to increase the capacity and expertise of trade unions to successfully prevent and address violence and sexual harassment in film and TV production. Further, we aim at engaging in a sustainable dialogue with international employers’ federations, funding bodies and regulatory authorities on minimum standards in film and TV production. To this end, the working group will work towards establishing a code of conduct on dignity at work and a guide on prevention of violence at work in international film and TV productions.

The working group established a drafting group to work on the first draft for a code of conduct. Affiliates will have an opportunity to contribute to the work of the drafting group during the workshop that will be organised in Madrid on 18 October. The group mandated the Secretariat to initiate a formal dialogue with CEPI and FIAPF on the project of joint code of conduct.