Over 100 European delegates from UNI Europa’s Media, Entertainment and Arts sector along with its sister federations EFJ, FIA, and FIM are gathering in Dublin (11th and 12th of February) for the closing conference of the joint Media and Entertainment unions’ project “Reaching the Full Potential of Social Dialogue for all Workers”. Co-funded by the European Commission, the project pursued a twofold aim: increasing the capacities of media and entertainment unions to organise freelance and self-employed workers, and exploring the conflict between European competition rules and the right of unions to collectively bargain for self-employed workers.

Noted legal practitioners and academics and representatives of the European Commission, the ILO, OECD, and the ETUC debated recent legal developments and participated in a lively exchange with delegates on the outlook for the future in a context of increasing public demand to regulate minimum wage and precarious forms of working. The conference also provided the opportunity for extensive discussion on the experiences of the 9 European trade unions which have received training on organising self-employed workers. This was followed by a dedicated workshop session to further explore the organising challenges of media and entertainment unions in Europe.

William Maunier, President of UNI Europa’s Media, Entertainment and Arts sector said:  “Media and Entertainment unions across Europe want better protection for freelance and self-employed workers. Their rights to decent work, fair wages and collective bargaining need to be ensured in the EU single market. Catering for these workers’ needs and defending their rights are key priorities for us and our sister organisations.“

A major output of the project will be the upcoming publication of a dedicated handbook for Media and Entertainment unions, providing hands-on advice on how to organise freelance self-employed workers and how to address some of the legal obstacles to freedom of association and collective bargaining.