TORONTO — Two of Canada’s top media and entertainment unions announced an innovative partnership today to improve working conditions and organize workers in factual / reality television.
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), North America’s largest entertainment union, is joining forces with media union CWA Canada in its Fairness in Factual TV campaign.
The campaign was launched five years ago by CWA Canada and its biggest local, the Canadian Media Guild, in an effort to improve health and safety, and establish fairness in pay and working conditions in the industry.
“What we’ve learned after five years of being a voice for factual TV workers is that they need and want union contracts similar to those in the scripted TV industry but tailored to factual,” CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon said. “They’re done with being treated as poor cousins. This alliance will help them improve their working lives.”
IATSE, which represents factual / reality workers in the United States and a large majority of workers in scripted TV in Canada, brings its experience and influence to the campaign.
“Workers in factual TV need a strong, experienced voice that can represent them when they are fighting for better working conditions,” said John Lewis, IATSE International Vice President and Director of Canadian Affairs. “We have decades of experience representing entertainment industry workers and understand their unique needs.”
Independent contractors and employees often work side by side in the factual TV industry and misclassification is common, which robs workers of their legal rights, such as overtime and vacation pay. That is the subject of a $35-million class action filed by Cavalluzzo LLP last October against Cineflix, one of the biggest production companies in Canada’s industry.
CWA Canada represents more than 6,000 workers at newspapers and other media companies coast to coast, including the CBC.
For more information, contact:
Martin O’Hanlon, President, CWA Canada
John Lewis, International Vice President and Director of Canadian Affairs, IATSE
For more information on the Fairness in Factual TV campaign, visit: fairnessinfactualtv.ca