Leaders of media entertainment and arts unions and guilds from across the world met in Toronto, 1 and 2 October to review the work priorities of UNI MEI and to renew the organisation’s leadership team.

The meeting hosted by the Directors Guild of Canada, DGC, DGC Ontario and IATSE Canada adopted an action plan aiming at stepping-up union to union cooperation in organising, mainstreaming gender equality and the fight against sexual harassment and violence at work. Further, the Committee decided to set-up a working group on international productions to steer the organisation’s work on rights, conditions and standards in co-productions.

With the view to implement the decisions of the UNI World Congress of June 2018, the Committee decided to carry out a project on media pluralism and to organise a global sector conference on the future of broadcasting in the digital age. Further, it committed to strengthen the cooperation with its sister organisations, the International Federation of Actors, FIA and the International Federation of Musicians, FIM on dealing with multinationals and their associations.

Following the retirement of Gerry Morrissey, BECTU, the Committee unanimously elected IATSE Intl. President Matthew D. Loeb as new President. President Loeb, who has served as 1st Vice President since 2008 will now lead the work of the Committee towards the UNI MEI General Assembly of 2020.

President Loeb said “I am humbled and proud for the trust my fellow colleagues put in me. I am honoured to serve the global community of media and entertainment unions in UNI as President.

“I would like to thank Gerry Morrissey for his commitment, leadership and tireless efforts to bringing our unions closer together, strengthening international solidarity and growing our global work during the last seven years.  I am looking forward to work with the members of the Committee, all affiliates and UNI MEI’s team to strengthen the voice of workers and their rights in our global industry,” President Loeb stressed.

Philippa Childs (BECTU, UK), Bryan Unger (DGA, USA) and Sonia Sontana (SINDCINE, Brazil) were elected to the position of Vice Presidents.

David Forget (DGC, Canada), Bill Skolnik (DGCO, Canada), Helma Van der Mijl (FNV Media & Cultuur, The Netherlands), Susana Benitez (SATSAID, Argentina), Hamilton Cheng (TPTSEU, Taiwan) and Warwick Hempleman  (VERDI, Germany), also joined the renewed leadership team as Members of the Executive Committee.