UNI Global Union and its Media, Entertainment & Arts (MEI) sector, which includes 150 industry unions and guilds worldwide, expresses its solidarity with the Directors Guild of America as it fights for a fair contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
The current three-year agreement expires on 30 June and takes place as the Writers Guild of America (also affiliated to UNI Global Union), is striking against the AMPTP for the respect, recognition and remuneration they deserve. As with the writers, one of the key issues at stake is residual payments for streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon.
Jon Avnet, DGA Negotiations Chair said: “This year’s negotiations are about more than bargaining a strong contract for the next three years — they’re about setting the course for the future of our industry and ensuring the sustainability of hundreds of thousands of good, union jobs.”
“We’re fighting to receive our fair share of the new global future,” confirmed Negotiations Co-Chair Todd Holland.
Among its demands, the DGA is calling for wage increases to meet inflation, protection of its healthcare and pension plans, and better health and safety to combat dangerously long working hours in the TV and film industry, as highlighted by UNI’s research.
The negotiations are taking place in a very complex environment with a short window for concluding a deal before negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP are set to start on 7 of June – whose contract also expires on 30 June.
Unlike the previous negotiations, the stakes are much higher as streaming upends traditional licensing models that once fairly distributed profits in film and television. Meanwhile, AI threatens to transform all aspects of production. “The explosive popularity of streaming around the world has transformed how, and where, our work is viewed, and our contracts must adapt to changing production and distribution,” said Karen Gaviola, DGA Negotiations Co-Chair in a video to its 19,000 members.
In a solidarity letter to members of the DGA on behalf of UNI, Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of UNI Global Union, said:
“Your fight is our fight. Ensuring fair pay, the protection of our members’ rights and dignity at work are at the heart of UNI MEI’s member unions’ campaigns, often facing the same global companies. Above the line artists and workers have been squeezed during the ongoing transformation to streaming. Unions stand tall to fight higher work pressures, unsustainable remuneration models, unsafe working hours, which is affecting entertainment workers worldwide.”
The DGA has been an active member of UNI Global Union since its foundation in 2000 and has been working with UNI MEI to support the growth of directors’ organizations around the world and to foster collective bargaining. A strong and fair DGA contract protecting the future of above-the-line artists and workers is of crucial importance for a just transformation of the global entertainment industry, that UNI MEI unions are campaigning for together.
UNI MEI President Matthew D. Loeb (IATSE, United States), said:
“We support you as you continue your negotiation with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Our hope is that these global film studios agree to fair remuneration, healthcare and pension contributions, creative rights, diversity, and safer sets that reflect the future of this global industry. We stand with you!”
For more information on the DGA negotiations, go to: DGA Website
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