Ireland | Right to collective bargaining restored for freelancers

Oireachtas logoThe Irish Parliament restores the right of freelance workers to collective bargaining in an amendment to the Competition Act (on 31 May 2017)

On the evening of 31 May, the Irish Parliament adopted the Labour Party proposed Competition Amendment Bill 2016, which aims to introduce exemptions from competition law for certain self-employed workers.

Since a competition ruling was handed down thirteen years ago, agreements negotiated with artists unions on minimum tariffs have been considered as breaches of competition  law.

Musicians, journalists and voice over actors will be the first to take advantage of the reform

To avoid the competition law a union has to prove either that its members are false independent workers (in a subordinate relationship, obliged to follow instructions, do not share the same business risks as their contractors etc.) or are ‘fully dependent’ workers (deriving most of their income from a maximum of two sources), both notions which for the first time are being defined.
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EU | Consultation on a European pillar of social rights

EAEA logo

FIM, FIA and UNI-MEI have submitted a joint reply to the European Commission’s consultation on the European Pillar of Social Rights (the consultation ended on 31 December 2016).

This contribution (in English), which includes elements of reply drafted by ETUC, also addresses in detail aspects that are specific to our sector, basing itself in particular on work carried out within the scope of the European project on atypical workers which was concluded in September 2016.
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Africa | Union reshaping underway in Zimbabwe?

FIM workshop Zimbabwe

With the TUMAI union, FIM organised a union training workshop in Harare (Zimbabwe) from 21 to 24 September 2016, with the support of Union To Union. Two local musicians’ unions took part: TUMAI (recently a FIM member once more) and ZIMU (created in 2014).

Unfortunately, TUMAI has had to come to terms with the sudden demise of its General Secretary, George Emmanuel, who was actively engaged in preparing this meeting.

The workshop focused on union organisation and action. The current backdrop is particularly difficult:
• artists are not backed by public authorities
• related rights in copyright are not enshrined in law
• levies due by broadcasters are not paid or are paid at a ridiculously low rate
• the level of piracy is such that the country’s largest record company, Gramma, cannot sell off its CDs even at the price of $1, since pirates are flooding the market with compilations at 50 cents!
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Europe | Atypical work in the arts, entertainment and media sector

Atypical work

On 8 and 9 September 2016, the final conference took place in Brussels of the joint FIM, FIA, UNI-MEI and EFJ project focusing on the future of work and atypical working in the arts, entertainment and media sector. It was held in the European Parliament and the premises of the European Economic and Social Committee.

Besides representatives from the four organising federations, the conference welcomed European and national parliamentarians, representatives of the European Commission, the International Labour Office (ILO) and the European Trade Unions Confederation (ETUC) as well as jurists specialized in social law.
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India | Risk prevention in Bollywood

Stage on fire in Mumbai

On 27-29 June 2016, FIM, FIA and UNI-MEI organised a workshop mainly dedicated to risk prevention in the movie industry in Bollywood, within the scope of their joint project backed by Union to Union.

Participants (technicians, actors and musicians), from the Federation of cinema employees in western India (FWICE) and the Musicians’ Federation of India (MFI), described the environment as tense. On the one hand, accidents on film sets are occurring one after the other at an alarming rate.
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France | The employer of Belarusian musicians sentenced for not respecting the applicable collective agreement

Lac des cygnes | Minsk Bolchoi

In the spring of 2014, the FranceConcert company organised a six-week tour in France for a production of Swan Lake by the Orchestra and Bolshoi Opera Ballet of Minsk.

During the tour, musicians received their usual wages (€350 a month on average) as well as a cash allowance of €40 a day. They were subject to particularly difficult working conditions, performing up to 13 days consecutively without a single day of rest. At the same time, FranceConcert sold up to 5,000 places per concert at around €50 per unit.
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France | The profession of performer undermined by the government

Assemblée Nationale

Indignation among professional performing artists after the adoption at second reading of the “Creation” bill presented by the French government which makes provision for all companies in the entertainment business, whether subsidised or not, to be able to resort to using unpaid artists.

Under the guise of fostering amateur practices, the French government is organising the legalisation of negating the trade of performer, by suggesting that the work of a musician or actor does not need to be remunerated.

This is a historic regression, in a country which has the reputation for treating its artists worthily.
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Cameroon | The complaint lodged by FIM and SYCAMU at ILO has made the government give way

SYCAMU

Via order of 12 February 2016, the Cameroon government raised the suspension order on SYCAMU. This order was the subject of the complaint lodged jointly by SYCAMU and FIM to the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association.

The decision intervened very quickly after the government received notification from ILO of the complaint against it, a complaint it judged sufficiently relevant and serious not to go any further down the road.

The decision of the Cameroon government is a relief for FIM and SYCAMU, which can now resume its activities serving the country’s music artists.
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