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BC Labour Relations Board issues decision flowing from film industry inquiry

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Film & TV

The BC Labour Relations Board issued it decision today flowing from the film industry inquiry.

The Board had been ordered to conduct the inquiry - under section 41 of the Labour Relations Code - by the BC Minister of Labour and Citizens' Services in February 2008. The Minister was concerned that the film industry was "facing various challenges and factors that threaten industrial stability".

The parties involved in the inquiry were the:

  1. the Canadian Affiliates of the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers ("AMPTP");
  2. the B.C. Producers Branch of the Canadian and Film and Televisions Production Association ("CFPTA");
  3. B.C and Yukon Council of Film Unions ("Film Council");
  4. ACFC West - The Association of Canadian Film Craftspeople ("ACFC");
  5. Union of B.C. Performers ("UBCP"); and
  6. Directors Guild of Canada - B.C. District Council ("DGC -BC").

(Note: Pursuant to its authority under Section 41 of the Code, the Film Council was established by the Board in 1995 as the bargaining agent for workers in the "IATSE" union locals 669 and 891 and the Teamsters union local 155: BCLRB No. B448/95).

Based on its consultations with/submissions from the parties, the Board ordered them to implement the following by December 5, 2008:

  1. Identify common collective bargaining issues and coordinate bargaining with respect to those common issues;
  2. Provide each other with general updates on the progress of bargaining relating to issues that are not common;
  3. Consult with each other when a decision to conduct a strike vote is a real possibility and before a final decision to conduct a strike vote is made;
  4. Continue the practice of common expiry dates for collective agreements in this round of bargaining

    - the current agreements expire on March 31, 2009.

  5. Establish "safe harbour" arrangements for productions initiated prior to the conducting of a strike vote.

    - such provisions would assure producers that, if their production has been budgeted for and commenced prior to a strike vote, they will be entitled to complete their production.

The first three measures are for the unions to implement. The fourth measure would not appear to require action, simply compliance by all parties for this round of bargaining. The
fifth measure must be implemented by the unions and the producers jointly.

The Board also stated that once the upcoming round of bargaining is concluded, it will meet with the parties to discuss other issues that were considered, including:

  1. The development of a "meaningful and effective consultation processes, with appropriate dispute resolution components, to address a wide range of issues with the unions that arise between rounds of bargaining"; and
  2. An industry-wide, alternative dispute resolution process that would allow collective agreement disputes to be addressed in an expedited manner.

BCLRB Decsion No. 179/2008