The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) will lobby Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant, for a determination or principle in labour law that will compensate actors in the event of injuries at work and give them to access a package of collective bargaining rights including the formalizations of their incomes and copyrights to their works.
The decision follows a joint meeting on Monday between FEDUSA, UASA the Union, an affiliate of FEDUSA and the South African Guild of Actors (SAGA), a section of UASA on the precarious nature of the work of actors in the film production industry and the dramatic arts in South Africa. A Task Team led by FEDUSA General Secretary Dennis George will be constituted to act as champions of the lobby.
As a point of departure the meeting recognised that two key labour laws, namely the Labour Relations Act which denied them workplace dispute resolution mechanisms and other Collective Bargaining rights because it classified them as Independent Contractors, a class of workers also informally known as Freelancers; and COIDA or Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases which ring-fenced them out of compensation for dangerous work, did not offer actors social protection, rendering their occupations precarious in terms of standards set down by the International Labour Organization.
Over the years SAGA and UASA have mounted various campaigns including lobbying parliament mainly focusing on copyright and compensations for dangerous work done by actors such as stunts on film sets and exposure to accidents during live events which was intensified recently by a death on a film shoot in the Drakensberg during a scene performed on the edge of a waterfall.
However the parties also recognized that rapid technological advances and digitalisation of work process was changing the nature of work in the world which necessitated the need to move away from classical definitions of work and industrial relations; and explore progressive ways in which actors could benefit from the changed environment. International best practices in the Independent Production Sector would also be closely followed to guide the local performance industry in the right direction.
FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry. See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.
For interviews please contact:
FEDUSA General Secretary
084 805 1529
082 467 8925
FEDUSA Media Officer
072 637 8096