The strikes in the USA have come at a time when we were already suffering from a downturn in production followed by the cost-of-living-crisis. This triple whammy has meant that about three quarters of the workforce is not earning at a time of rapidly rising prices. Indeed, a number have already left the industry as the only way to survive. Those who are staying and holding out for better times are finding their resources running out very rapidly. While there is lobbying going on to improve the way intermittent workers in our industry are cared for during times of low production, it is unlikely that this or the next government will be minded to do anything.
Such provisions as are common in France for Intermittent Workers are a long way off in the UK as our politicians are of the small businessman attitude that they don’t want to pay for anything that does not appear to be directly related to productivity. We will not soon persuade them that if they want the convenience of the freelance system, they will have to pay for it.
In the short term, which is what is facing us right now, the guild and institutions around the industry must step up to the mark. The Film and TV Charity (FTC) and Back-up Tech Charity (www.backuptech.uk) are there for workers in our industry. If any member is finding themselves in real difficulty, they should contact these organisations. The Guild has received the following message from the FTC:
This summer, hard-working people in our industry are facing real uncertainty. Adding to existing worries about the cost of living and other pressures on their mental health, your friends and colleagues need support!
That’s why it’s more important than ever that we highlight the important work from the Film and TV Charity. From grants and financial guidance to its 24/7 free and confidential Support Line, their services are here to help through the tough times.
Spread the word to your communities and networks by:
Sharing their social posts
Giving them a follow and signing up to their newsletter
And if you can, make a donation to support your industry through the tough times.
So spread the word, and if you can, donate today. Together, we can make sure no one struggles alone.