Broadcasting union Bectu has called on the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTS) to do more to support UK crews who are struggling to find work as a result of the actors and writers’s strikes.
Head of Bectu Pippa Childs has written to AMPTS urging it to “put in place financial support for UK crew…who are suffering incredible hardship as a result of this crisis.”
The AMPTS’s membership includes leading US studios and streamers, many of whom produce content in the UK.
Childs said that the industry in the UK, like the US has ground to a halt as a “direct result” of the AMPTS’s disputes with writers’ union the WGA and actors union SAG-AFTRA.
Childs wrote: “This crisis is not of the crew’s making. Yet it is they who are paying the price of your failure to reach an acceptable agreement with our colleagues in the WGA and SAG-AFTRA. It is they who face no work and no income while the dispute drags on and they who bear the brunt of these protracted negotiations. It is surely undisputable that you have a responsibility to the workforce that is so integral to creating the content that you profit from.”
She noted that three quarters of UK film and TV workers are not currently working according to a Bectu survey.
“You produce content in the UK because of the high-quality, sought after skills of the crew here, as well as the tax incentives and the excellent facilities offered by the studios. Yet our survey shows that a quarter of UK film and TV workers are considering leaving the industry because of its precarious nature. There is a very real danger that talented crew with transferable skills will take their expertise elsewhere. This should sound alarm bells to anyone who wants to see the UK and global industry thrive into the future.”
The SAG-AFTRA strike began on July 14, while the WGA strike started on May 2. Both are still ongoing with little sign yet of a resolution in sight.