At a joint webinar on 23 February 2021, memeber unions of FIA and UNI MEI in the Americas discussed the findings of the final study on the impact of COVID-19 on the audiovisual and live performance sectors. The study was conducted in collaboration with the Universidad Metropolitana para la Educación y el Trabajo (UMET) of Buenos Aires and is part of the Joint FIA-UNI MEI project supported by Union to Union and our Swedish affiliate Scen & Film.
The study that covers eight countries focuses on three key aspects: (1) the economic impact on the sector, (2) repercussions on working conditions, with respect to teleworking and health and safety at work and (3) how the crisis has affected trade unions and their work. It shed lights on the different layers of the crisis’ impact on the industries and differences between the sectors of broadcasting, cinema, film & TV production, and live performance.
One important lesson learned is that despite the huge crisis in the sector, unions won for workers and reinforced their presence and power playing a very prominent role in the response to the crisis. By defending the rights, providing safe working conditions, and securing relieve and recovery programmes for union members and non-members alike, unions have made the difference. Unions have persued and succesfully implemented strategies to protect the most vulnerable workers, for example by negotiating special leave schemes with a dedicated gender perspective and COVID-19 sick pay.
The study underlines that that one of the most relevant challenges posed by the pandemic in the short term for build back a sustainable career perspective for the many workers who’s employment is based on casual and sort-term contracts.
The economic crisis triggered by the pandemic had a major impact on trade unions themselves in many ways and in a variety of ways. The report presents an overview of how unions have coped with the challenges to implement support actions for union members in need while having less financial resources. It also highlights how unions engage with members while having to do most of the work remotely.
The study is available in English, Portuguese and Spanish. You can download the study here.