The UNI Apro Media, Entertainment, and Arts (MEI) sector successfully held its third sector conference on 25 August 2021.
More than seventy participants attended the virtual meeting held on the Zoom platform. Christy Hoffman, UNI Global Union General Secretary, Johannes Studinger, UNI MEI Head, and Natalia Ilieva, Head of Secretary General’s Office, Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), attended, lending their solidarity and fraternal presence.
The conference with the theme of “Confronting the Challenge of Pandemic-Induced Change and Increased Repression in the Media Industry” reaffirms the importance of organising media unions in the face of a changing future of work in a post-pandemic scenario.
The conference adopted two significant policy statements.
The first was UNI Apro’s vision of “Building Forward: Towards an Inclusive, Equitable and Sustainable Future” presented by Regional Secretary Rajendra Acharya. The statement laid out UNI Apro’s agenda for an inclusive, equitable, and sustainable future driven by a human-centred approach to recovery.
The second policy statement adopted is the UNI Apro MEI Strategic Action Plan 2021 – 2025. The action plan listed five major focus areas aimed at growing and empowering strong trade unions to protect the rights and interests of MEI workers and improve the effectiveness of UNI Apro MEI to serve the needs of its affiliates better.
Despite the tight timing, the conference still featured a special panel comprising guest speakers and affiliates. Dr. Kalinga Seneviratne, journalist, and author gave a provocative presentation of an alternate economic model for media. Ms. Evelyn Samuel, former journalist, and certified mental health first-aider, gave some practical tips to deal with mental health effects from the pandemic, which was well received by the audience.
The conference also adopted a Solidarity Statement to NUMW Union Korea in their fight against the amendment of the Press Arbitration Act that limits the freedom of expression of Korean Media.
Masatoshi Nakamura, Nipporo Japan, was re-elected as the UNI Apro MEI Executive Committee President for 2021-2025.
The UNI Apro MEI Sector Conference is the first of six sector conferences held in Asia and the Pacific. The next sector conference would be the UNI Apro ICTS Sector Conference held on 1-2 September 2021.