Increasing capacity of audiovisual workers and unions in Colombia


Increasing capacity of audiovisual workers and unions in Colombia

At the beginning of May UNI MEI, in cooperation with UNI Americas and FIA, carried out a two-day capacity building training in Bogota, including training sessions on a variety of topics which are of chief importance to workers and unions in the Colombian audiovisual sector. The training was attended by over 40 technicians, actors and representatives from the main trade unions in the sector in Colombia (ACA, ACTV, CICA and CINE-CICA).

The first training session focused on international standards regarding health and safety in the film and television industry. Luis Mendoza from the Directors’ Guild of Canada (DGC) shared with participants his in-depth knowledge of the sector on how to assess health and safety risks and prevent hazards in film and TV production, and on the important role unions play to create a safe work environment.   

A second session concentrated on the responsibilities of the Assistant Director in film productions and how trade unions can support them in the interest of all film workers on the set. This training was provided by the Argentinean Film Technicians’ Union SICA APMA (Mariano Turek and Guido Valerga) and allowed for a thorough exchange and peer-to-peer learning with Colombian technicians and unions.

Finally, a third training session focused on collective bargaining for decent work conditions and fair remuneration. It was jointly led by representatives from the Argentinean TV Union SATSAID (Gerardo Gonzalez), SICA APMA (Guido Valerga) and the Argentinean Actors’ Union AAA (Alejandra Rincon). The training provided participants with useful insights in how to develop strategies to successfully carry out collective bargaining to the advantage of the entire audiovisual sector in Colombia.

The training was followed by a seminar for Colombian trade union leaders in the sector and led by UNI Americas (Alan Sable, Henry Olivera), focusing on short-term organising and collective bargaining strategies.

The training sessions and meetings in Bogota resulted in an agreement of all Colombian audiovisual sector unions to enhance inter-trade union cooperation and to carry out joint actions with producers in Colombia with the aim to structure the Colombian film and TV labour market, initiate sector social dialogue, improve working conditions, and sustain the audiovisual sector.


Colombia’s movie and TV industry has been taking off since 2016 with an increasing number of international film productions choosing the Andean nation for shootings and post-production. Several new trade unions have been created in the past years with the aim to represent workers collectively and improve their working conditions and remuneration.