Anyone looking to predict what negotiations are going to look like when the major collective agreements between actors, writers and crew open up for negotiations here in the U.S. over the next two years need only look north of the border. There the Canadian union representing 21,000 domestitc performers are in tough bargaining with producers including many U.S. based companies like Disney, Sony, Universal and Warner Bros.
Linked below is the union (ACTRA) website with an update. Meanwhile, the Washington Post is reporting on the possibility of a strike (Actors Strike Looms in Canada). Interestingly, the contract under negotiation covers most of Canada but not British Columbia where Vancouver is located. B.C. performers are in a separate union with lower wages. And the producers are threatening – as they do in the U.S. to move production to B.C. from the rest of Canada. In light of intense concern in the U.S. about runaway production it is interesting to see that the ‘race to the bottom’ affects much of Canadian film and T.V. too. American EMI workers may be able to learn a great deal by paying close attention to the Canadian negotiations. And, of couse, support and solidarity for their fellow performers could go a long way to helping build a critical bridge with Canadian labor that could help in upcoming bargaining in the U.S.