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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ETUC initiates a process of reflection on new forms of employment

ETUC logo

ETUC has invited FIM and other sectoral federations to join a European project aimed at better defining the “new forms of employment” and “atypical jobs” that are booming across Europe. The notion of “new form of employment” is not in fact really appropriate since short-term employment, for multiple users or in the form of a “self-employed” working relationship has existed for a long time in numerous sectors, including that of the arts, performing arts and media. This is why FIM, FIA and UNI-MEI are associated with this this project.
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EU | Parliament wants a real European social pillar

EU Parliament logo

On 19 January 2017, the European Parliament adopted a Resolution on the European Social Pillar, calling on the European Commission to make proposals for designing a European pillar of social rights that goes beyond a simple declaration of principle and has a real impact on the lives of citizens. Parliament is urging the Commission to put an end to a double-standard system which only leads it to enact vague principles in favour of a social Europe, whereas the measures it adopts in favour of competition and the free market are always concrete and coercive.
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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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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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