|sent from: Esher, Surrey, UK. destination: London, UK|
Tomorrow BECTU hosts a “town hall” meeting in London for vfx artists to discuss the various issues in the industry and begin what they (and I) hope will be the unionisations of vfx workers in London. Some of the issues are diff from the ones in USA – we already have health coverage in the form of the NHS. We don’t need to pressure our employers to form a trade association – they already have one and it’s lobbying the UK government to protect its interests quite nicely thank you very much.
The primary issue is the lack of compensated OT that has skyrocketed in the past decade. Mostly, I see artists (esp. those who have not worked outside Europe) seem to have their heads in the sand. They do not see a problem, or if they do they do not feel that have the power to do anything about it. Few people know their rights, and those that do, do not exercise them out of fear that it will cost them their jobs. How else to explain the complete acquiescence to opting out of the working time agreement? What I hope a union can show artists is that they have power, collectively they have a voice and can assert themselves.
I’ve already joined BECTU – wont you join me?
Tomorrow I will be writing again about why I believe we should organise and unionise, by addressing the question that’s come up a lot, namely how does joining a union help fix the larger business issues facing the vfx industry? Doesn’t it just place more financial pressure on already squeezed facilities? My thoughts tomorrow.