Directors Guild of Canada of British Columbia issues strike notice – The Hollywood Reporter
The British Columbia Chapter of the Directors Guild of Canada has issued an official strike notice to the Alliance of Film and Television Producers and its local counterpart, the Canadian Media Producers Association.
The announcement follows the union’s first-ever strike authorization vote in British Columbia, where members voted 92.2% in favor of strikes at local U.S. film and TV sets if the talks with North American producers did not lead to a new collective agreement.
The BC union must wait 72 hours after strike notice to take industrial action, with any production not covered by an exemption agreement becoming subject to possible picket lines. It is understood that most productions currently filming in British Columbia have signed safe harbor agreements and, if they comply, will be protected from any potential industrial action.
Safe Harbor agreements signed with the BC Labor Board allow American production to continue to come to the Canadian province while talks on a new labor agreement with North American producers continue and before a notice of official strike is issued. With the strike notice served, no new safe harbor agreement can be signed to protect against industrial action from April 26.
Any production not covered by a safe harbor agreement could be subject to industrial action, unlike productions with existing safe harbor agreements which will see union members continue to work on those sets, according to the union.
And no union member can choose to quit their job or take individual industrial action on a production with a safe harbor agreement. Conversely, DGC BC members may accept work if offered on a Safe Harbor production.
In 2008, Canada’s coastal province imposed safe harbor agreements on a local film and TV industry dominated by Hollywood production in and around Vancouver to ensure workforce stability during negotiations. collective. DGC BC said it has requested a meeting with producers to resolve outstanding issues. The parties met on April 25, but the DGC reported that no progress had been made towards reaching a new agreement.
“Yesterday, we met with the producer negotiators. In light of the overwhelming support for a strike mandate, we expected them to address issues that are of vital importance to our members. They didn’t,” DGC BC District Council Chair Allan Harmon said in a statement.
“Their refusal to address these issues left us with no choice but to issue a strike notice,” he added. The current collective agreement expired on March 31, 2021, although production continued in and around Vancouver as negotiations continued.
Earlier, the AMPTP and CMPA warned that North American producers could drive movies and TV series away from Vancouver after the DGC branch in British Columbia held the strike authorization vote.
The official strike notice is likely to be seen by producers as another attempt to strengthen the union’s hand as it negotiates a new collective bargaining agreement for directors, second unit managers, production managers and unit and other workers below the line on An American studio and streamer shoot movies and TV shows in the Vancouver area.
For the DGC. British Columbia, sticking points in current talks remain over minimum wage payments, especially for those in lower-paying positions, payment terms for COVID testing, securing wage increases retroactive to the expiration of the last labor agreement and North American producers demanding new concessions from the union.
DGC BC has established an emergency strike fund to support union members affected by any industrial action. Any picket lines in British Columbia would not impact film and television production in the rest of Canada, as those provinces are subject to agreements with separate district councils from the DGC.