TORONTO – ACTRA has received the largest-ever strike mandate in its history with ACTRA members voting 97.6% in favour of a strike, in the province-by-province strike referendum concluded today.
“Our committee continues to negotiate with producers to try to win a fair and reasonable agreement for performers. The overwhelming support of ACTRA members for their bargaining team puts our side in an excellent position to gain what our members need,” said Stephen Waddell ACTRA’s National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator.
Also today, ACTRA was informed by Conciliation Officer Reg Pearson, appointed by the Ontario Minister of Labour to conciliate contract negotiations with producers, that the Minister will be issuing a "no board" report. This report will put ACTRA in a legal strike position in Ontario on January 1, 2007. The federal Office of Conciliation has also issued a "no board" report for federally governed jurisdictions.
In many other provinces, notably Quebec, conciliation is not a pre-requisite before a strike.
“This clears the way for ACTRA to be in a legal strike position as of January 1, 2007,” said Waddell. “Unfortunately, the CFTPA/APFTQ chose to refuse to meet with the conciliator, who we think would have helped us in these negotiations. The producers’ associations’ conduct inevitably led to where we are today, which is a ruling putting us in a legal strike position.”
Negotiations between ACTRA and producers are now at their critical stage. A series of non-monetary issues have been agreed to in recent days.
“Producers began these negotiations with a hyper-aggressive series of proposals designed to strip performers’ pay and residuals and to break our union,” Waddell said. “Now we’re going to see if some days of relatively productive negotiating plus the immediate prospect of a major industrial disruption has changed the direction of these talks. Hopefully producers will not underestimate our determination to secure a fair and reasonable agreement.”
Further talks are scheduled for December 18, 19 and 20. The current agreement expires on December 31, 2006.
ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is a national organization of professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of 21,000 members across Canada – the foundation of Canada’s highly acclaimed professional performing community.