Vancouver film and television directors vote to authorize strike

Members of the Board of Directors of Canada in British Columbia voted overwhelmingly in favor of approving a strike, after a year of negotiations on a new contract that reached a dead end.

The union announced that the vote was supported by 92.2%, with 86.2% of eligible members voting. Union officials hope the vote will give negotiators the power to seek greater concessions in talks with film and television producers.

“We thank our members for their solidarity with this overwhelming mandate,” said Alan Harmon, chairman of the union’s British Columbia council. “Their strength and determination make it clear that respect, justice and safety in the workplace are non-negotiable.”

The union – which represents 1,700 film and television workers in the Vancouver area – called for a strike on Monday, the first in its history.

A strike threatens to shut down production in Vancouver, which has become a hotbed of television series in recent years thanks to tax cuts by provincial and national governments.

Proceedings already under way in the province will be protected in the event of a strike, as the British Columbia Labor Relations Council has authorized the use of “safe harbor” agreements during negotiations. And new productions can even come to the province and sign a safe harbor agreement until a real strike is called.

In a statement this week, the Film and Television Producers Alliance and the Canadian Media Producers Association warned that the vote to approve the strike was sending “a message of job insecurity to the province and seriously jeopardizing British Columbia’s reputation as an attractive location.” film production. “

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“Given the potential for job instability in British Columbia, companies represented by AMPTP and the CMPA may be forced to reconsider their plans for a new producer base in the province,” the employers’ group said in a statement.

In response, the DGC said employers were threatening to cut jobs in retaliation for the vote.

“The bottom line is that the best way to ensure long-term job stability is for the parties to reach a fair agreement for all those working under the DGC BC collective agreement,” the union said.

The union is seeking increases in the minimum wage, especially at the lower end of the pay scale. They also ask for the increases to be paid retroactively by March 2021, when the last contract expired. Employer groups say they have offered a proposal that includes overall increases.

The Labor Council tried to mediate the dispute. DGC represents managers, site managers, production assistants and other employees.

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