Vancouver, the heart of Hollywood North is holding its breath at the prospect of a huge entertainment strike.
The Directors Guild of Canada B.C. district council has voted in favour of authorising a strike. The membership turnout was 86% with 92% of those voting to strike.
Kendrie Upton, executive director of the guild in B.C. said.
“It’s never been our intent to go on strike, that’s not our goal here. Our goal is to reach a fair agreement.”
The guild has been without a contract for more than a year now. Unfortunately negotiations with the two major employers, Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA-BC) ended last week with no deal.
If you are wondering what shows might be affected by this, some productions with guild members are Riverdale, The Flash and Snowpiercer.
There are agreements in place which means that productions already underway will not be affected by any strike action. However many shows will start production on new seasons during Canada’s summertime. Those shows can be affected if this dispute continues to drag on.
The strike mandate gives the Guild the option to call a strike of its membership. There is a time limit on this mandate though. A new vote must taker place after three months.
There is a minimum wage increase in B.C. in June increasing it to $15.65 (around £9.60). That increase means that a number of guild members will be making minimum wage despite working in a specialised industry with experience. They want to see those wage levels increase.
Other outstanding issues are payment terms for COVID testing, the guild says that these claw back the benefits. There is also no agreement over the retroactive pay for the year of working without a contract.
AMPTP and CMPA-BC state that they have made efforts to appease the guild including “outsized” wage increases. They further state that the demands made by the guild are not based on the recommendations of the mediator.