B.C. film, TV directors vote in favour of strike mandate

Employers says they might reconsider launching new productions in B.C.

B.C. fim and TV directors have voted in favour of a strike mandate | Busa Photography-Getty Images

B.C. film and TV directors have voted in favour of a strike mandate for the first time ever.

Friday’s vote results reveal 92 per cent support for potential job action among the members of the Directors Guild of Canada, B.C. District Council (DGC BC), who cast ballots this week. A total of 86 per cent of guild members voted.

BIV has reached out to representatives of the negotiating employers – the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) – for response to the vote.

The employers said earlier this week they might reconsider plans for new productions in the province amid potential “labour instability.” 

“Our goal is to reach a fair agreement. We all care about this industry, so let’s roll up our sleeves, get back to the table and find a solution,” DGC BC executive director Kendrie Upton said in a statement. 

“That is the best way to ensure long-term labour stability.”

Negotiations have been going on more than a year, including mediation conducted with help from the province’s Labour Relations Board (LRB).

Both the guild and employers are blaming the other for the breakdown following recommendations from the LRB’s mediator.

DGC BC sticking points in negotiations include retroactive wage hikes going back to the expiry of the last collective agreement, payment terms for COVID-19 testing and pay differentials that would increase wages for lower-paid positions as the minimum wage goes up across the province.

The guild’s collective agreement covers directors, second unit directors, production and unit managers, and those working in the assistant director and locations departments.

The province’s film industry was worth close to $3 billion to the economy in the 2019-20 fiscal year, according to a report released last May from the CMPA.