Directors Guild of Canada BC overwhelmingly authorizes strike against producers – Deadline
Members of the Directors Guild of Canada in British Columbia voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike against film and television productions in the province. The vote on the union’s first-ever strike mandate was 92.2% in favor, with 86.2% of eligible voters casting their ballots.
“We thank our members for the solidarity they have shown during this overwhelming tenure,” said Allan Harmon, DGC BC District Council Chair. “Their strength and determination make it clear that respect, fairness and workplace safety are non-negotiable. We fight to obtain and maintain the fundamental rights of all those who work within the framework of our collective agreement.
British Columbia’s largest city is the bustling production hub of Vancouver.
Before the ballot, the guild told its members that a “yes” vote does not mean we leave work the next day. Instead, it gives your negotiating team a strong mandate in their efforts to negotiate a fair deal and empowers us to take action at work if negotiating producers refuse to address your legitimate concerns.
“Our goal is to reach a fair deal,” said Kendrie Upton, executive director of DGC BC. “We all care about this industry, so let’s roll up our sleeves, get back to the table and find a solution. This is the best way to ensure long-term workforce stability.
The guild’s current contract was due to expire on March 31, 2021, but has been extended for over a year in hopes that a fair deal can be reached. Unions and management are expected to return to the negotiating table in the coming days, although the guild has already declared an “impasse” in talks after mediation broke down. In the United States, the declaration of a negotiation “impasse” often precedes a strike – especially after the failure of mediation, as was the case before the authorization vote.
Directors Guild of Canada of British Columbia Seeks First-Ever Strike Deal Vote From Members After AMPTP Negotiations Hit ‘Deadlock’
A strike, if it comes down to it, would be the first in DGC BC history. According to Creative BC, British Columbia’s film commission, more than 30 projects are currently filming there, including films such as parallel forest and little finger; TV series The Flash, The Good Doctor, Charmed, Snowpiercer, Riverdale, Superman & Lois, A Million Little Things and The nanny; and miniseries The Fall of House Usher and Shogun.
A strike, however, would not prevent filming elsewhere in Canada. In Toronto, which is also a major filming destination, directors and their crews are represented by another DGC district council, which has its own separate contracts and does not threaten a work stoppage.
DGC BC says it is “fighting for respect, fairness and safety for those who work under its collective agreement, especially those in the lowest paid and most vulnerable positions, which includes those from diverse and underrepresented groups in the industry.” He also says he struggles with “clawbacks” – rollbacks to the existing terms of his contract. Other key issues, he says, are minimum wage differentials; terms of payment for Covid tests and retroactivity of salary increases. “We cannot recommend an agreement that includes significant concessions and fails to meet DGC BC’s key objectives of respect, fairness and safety,” the guild said ahead of the vote.
The 1,700-member guild represents not only directors but also second unit directors, production and unit managers, and those employed in the various assistant director and filming departments, as well as entry-level production assistants. . Acceptable terms for rookie assistants have been a major sticking point in the talks.
The AMPTP and the Canadian Media Producers Association, with whom the guild has been negotiating, on and off, for more than a year, warned on Wednesday that labor instability in the region could force producers to reconsider. twice before turning there. “The DGC BC strike authorization vote sends a message of labor uncertainty in the province and seriously undermines British Columbia’s reputation as an attractive location for film production. Given the potential for labor instability in British Columbia, companies represented by the AMPTP and CMPA may be forced to reevaluate their plans to base new productions in the province.
The Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers, which represents America’s major companies, and the CMPA, a trade association of independent producers, say they have “carefully reviewed the Guild’s top priorities and come up with a comprehensive proposal to meet those demands, including through – pay raises on the board, outsized increases for the lowest paid classifications, outsized pay increases for location managers, the creation of a new classification of coordinator of better paid key background and increased benefits for members working on certain high-budget SVOD productions, including residual director compensation. This generous offer does not contain any “cancellation” or reduction of benefits. »