Negotiations to avoid a threatened film and television strike in British Columbia will resume on April 25. The resumption of contract negotiations comes after the guild's first-ever strike authorization vote, which was by an overwhelming majority 992.2% of its 1,700 members.
Our objective is to reach a fair agreement, said DGC BC executive director Kendrie Upton. We all do well in this industry, so let's roll up our sleeves, get back to the table, and find a solution.
Unless the negotiations producers refuse to respond to your legitimate concerns, guild leaders told their members that it "doesn't mean we immediately go on strike." It gives our negotiation team a strong mandate and allows us to serve strike notice. Whenever the negotiations producers refuse to respond, our ultimate goal has always been to get an agreement that the membership can ratify, and that hasn't changed."
The guild has been working on and off for over a year with the Canadian Media Producers Association, a trade association for independent producers. Prior to the strike authorization vote, they warned that labor instability in the region might force producers to think twice about filming there.
"The DGC BC strike-authorization vote expresses labor uncertainty in the province and puts British Columbia's reputation as an attractive location for motion picture production. Considering the potential for labor instability in British Columbia, the companies represented by the government and the CMPA may be forced to re-evaluate their plans for establishing new productions in the province."
Guild leaders are dreading that their members were told: "If the number of production notices we received this week is any indication, productions will not be held anywhere."
A strike, if it comes to that, would be the first in British Columbia's history, shutting down film and television production, though not elsewhere in Canada. According to Creative BC, the British Columbia film commission, more than 30 projects are currently filming there, including such films as Parallel Forest and Pinky, television series The Good Doctor, Charmed, Snowpiercer, Riverdale, Superman & Lois, A Million Little Things and The Nanny, and miniseries The Fall of the House of Usher and Shogun
The DGC BC is "military in honor of those who are working under its collective agreement, particularly the people in the lowest-paid and most vulnerable positions," which includes people from various-underrepresented groups in the industry.
The two producer groups have denied that they have applied for rollbacks, claiming that prior to the strike authorization vote, they had carefully examined the guild's key priorities and offered a comprehensive approach to those demands, including large-scale wage increases for location managers, the creation of a new and higher-paid key background coordinator classification, and increased benefits for members assisting in certain high-budget SVOD productions. This generous offer includes no 'rollbacks' or reductions in benefits.