The union movement in Hollywood is rubbing off on France.
While the historic strike which took place in Hollywood for many weeks, uniting screenwriters and actors in the same struggle, ended a few days ago, it is now in France that we are seeing the first signs of blockages on certain successful series shoots, according to Telerama. Since Wednesday November 15, technicians have disrupted around fifty filming sessions and are demanding a salary increase. They are directors of photography, editors, sound engineers, scripts, costume designers, makeup artists…
The filming of HPI, The Walking Dead, Daryl Dixon, Deter, Terminal or the post-production of shows like Top chef Or Questions for a champion are at a standstill and the Union of Professionals in the Audiovisual and Cinema Industries CGT (Spiac-CGT), the National Union of Technicians and Workers in Cinematographic and Television Production (SNTPTC) and the French Confederation of Christian Workers Media + (CFTC Media+) are leading these first actions.
The general delegate of Spiac Laurent Blois explains that the technicians are asking for a 20% salary increase: “There have been salary increases, but in constant decline with inflation (…) We have been sounding the alarm for years. Today, the discontent is growing. (…) They have nothing to offer”, he declares, mentioning the first meeting of the unions with the Union Syndicale de la Production Audiovisuelle (USPA) on Wednesday afternoon. “We have the impression of giving more and more and being less and less considered”, adds Laurent Blois, adding that since the pandemic, the consumption of TV programs has been increasing and has allowed the production of series to take off.
End of the strike in Hollywood: actors and studios reached an agreement
This is not what Stéphane Le Bars, the Uspa union representative, says: “We have already made two salary increases in 2023 alone, for a total of 2.5 to 3.5% depending on the technicians.”, he explains. He said the production sector is under multiple pressures from inflation, transport and energy costs, as well as broadcasters freezing budgets or cutting them to save money. He nevertheless displays a desire for dialogue: “We hear the technicians’ requests, but the financial equation does not allow us, for the moment, to respond positively to them, we are not playing rotten, we want to find a solution.”
Solution which will be impossible without the participation of television channels in the negotiations: “We have to make sure they hear what’s happening and that they’ll go a long way”, concludes Stéphane Le Bars. After the first meeting on Wednesday, the producers will accelerate the process and will begin negotiations with the unions on December 5 instead of starting at the beginning of 2024. The Spiac-CGT, the SNTPTC and the CFTC Media + met on Thursday 16 November at 2 p.m. to discuss the continuation of the movement.
After 146 days of strike, Hollywood finally emerges from the crisis