Nobody seems to notice that hey, well, the actors in Canada just may go out on strike!
Anyway, for anyone interested....
Excerpts clipped from various articles. Click on links for full text.
Dec 11 - http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/December2006/11/c5978.html
More than 50,000 Canadians working in Canada's $4-billion film and television industry are facing serious potential disruption because of the CFTPA's bargaining tactics. ACTRA hopes that the CFTPA will see the light, and will bargain a renewed IPA with ACTRA on the dates already scheduled this week.
Dec 10 - http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117955374.html?categoryid=18&cs=1
Labor instability has stalled production in Toronto "worse than SARS," says Ken Ferguson, prexy of Toronto Film Studios, who notes that this year is looking like one of the leanest in memory. The city is hosting just two big-ticket U.S. productions, "Jumper" and "Hairspray."
Ferguson suggests Hollywood keep an eye north of the border, where actors and producers are wading into the touchy subject of pay and revenue sharing for new platforms. In October, talks broke off after just two days when producers proposed significant rollbacks for new platforms. The two have since returned to the table, but remain "miles apart."
Dec 10 - http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117955463.html?categoryid=18&cs=1
Producers org the Canadian Film and Television Production Assn. claimed Friday that two big-budget Hollywood films, "The Pink Panther 2" and Disney's "National Treasure II: The Book of Secrets," are skipping Toronto and Montreal because of the prospect of an actors' strike.
At the heart of the matter is safe harbor letters that the Alliance of Canadian Film, Television and Radio Performers is offering to individual producers in the event of a strike. Barrack claims that the letters are being made available to primarily U.S. productions.
"They're trying to cherry pick who they're going to strike against and who they're not," said Barrack, who maintains that the letters are illegal.
ACTRA chief negotiator Steve Waddell will not name names for fear of reprisals, he said, but added that "a growing number" of producers have signed on.
In November the producers' association refused to sign off on a continuance letter that would provide blanket protection for ongoing productions because it balked at the terms. In exchange it would have given actors a 5% pay increase and a 2% increase in benefits -- the same deal ACTRA is fighting for at the table.
Dec 07 - http://www.backstage.com/bso/news_reviews/unions/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003494207&imw=Y
U.S. actors are already enjoying holiday down-time: TV series are on hiatus, film production has slowed, curtains are coming down on many plays, and thesps are making their way home to families eager to hear about their adventures in acting. Actors north of the border, however, are preparing for what could be a not-so-happy new year. Rocky contract negotiations between North American producers and the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists are increasing the likelihood that ACTRA's 21,000 members will go on strike early next year.
The Screen Actors Guild has pledged to support ACTRA, whose members refused work and set up picket lines during SAG's commercials strike in 2000. In a Nov. 8 statement, SAG officials expressed their solidarity, stating the union would encourage its members to turn down work on U.S.-financed productions shooting in Canada and on productions relocated from Canada to the States or other countries.
One thing is certain: ACTRA members are ready to strike if necessary. "Without exception, every member that I have talked tois solidly in favor of the strong stand that we are taking," Waddell said. "ACTRA members are returning their ballots [mailed out Nov. 15] in record numbers. We believe it's going to be the highest return of any actor referendum ever." The strike ballots are due Dec. 15. Having the support of SAG, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and other performers' unions in the International Federation of Actors is key to the negotiator, especially because ACTRA assisted SAG on the frontlines during the 2000 commercials strike.
[the above is perhaps one of the largest and most detailed article thus far]
Dec 08 - http://www.backstage.com/bso/news_reviews/unions/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003494860
The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) reports North American producers have unconditionally withdrawn their proposal to reduce actors' fees by 25 percent — a sign that the union has made some progress in its negotiations.
Nov 28 – http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/November2006/28/c9554.html
"Our members approved strike votes by over 95% twice in the 1990s to win their current residuals," Waddell said. "These retrograde digital media and residuals proposals are going to attract an even bigger strike vote on December 15 of this year unless it is withdrawn."
ACTRA's bargaining team presented the union's own proposals. In this contract ACTRA is looking for:
- a reasonable increase for all members under this contract.
- a move to parity with Screen Actors Guild (SAG) on high-budget U.S.
productions in steps over the next five years.
- improvements to protections for minors on film productions.
- an incremental improvement to hours of work.
- measures to promote opportunities for performers with disabilities.
Nov 21 - http://www.canada.com/theprovince/story.html?id=140eecb5-1268-4c91-9b3b-45f2dd957320&k=16776
The Canadian performers union -- Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television & Radio Artists (ACTRA) -- and the Canadian Film and Television Production Association (CFTPA) and Associations de producteurs de films et television du Quebec, (APFTQ) are miles apart on issues such as wages, royalties and working conditions.
The current independent-production agreement expires Dec. 31. B.C. actors have a separate contract, which expires March 31.
ACTRA is seeking wage increases of five per cent per year over three years and parity with Screen Actors Guild wages for American-made movies. Meanwhile, the CFTPA/APFTQ have asked for wage rollbacks of 10 to 25 per cent.
Nov 01 - http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/financialpost/story.html?id=e411b198-c2dd-4ae1-a315-04404541b51f
ACTRA has offered a "safe harbour" provision that would allow Canadian actors to keep working on foreign productions even if there was a strike. In exchange, it wants those producers to pay a 5% increase in pay and another 2% increase in health benefits.