- Pressemitteilung BoxID 136382
Appeal to the German Union Ver.di
The CAMERIMAGE 2009 Forum of IMAGO, Lodz/Poland December 4th, 2009
Appeal to the German Union Ver.di
With great regret and concern the European Federation of Cinematographers is aware that the union Ver.di is about to sign a collective agreement undermining fair working conditions in the film and televison industry in Germany. This potentially is i direct threat to wider European interests.
Fighting for the reduction of daily workings hours hundreds of European workers have been injured, arrested or even killed. To overcome the oppression of long working days was one of the most relevant aims in the workers movement since the beginning of industrialization.
The opportunity to shoot for cinema and TV successfully by respecting the social needs of the individuals is an accepted condition in many countries in Europe and even worldwide. There are varied regulations in collective agreements and there obviously exist national differences - but a union has to care for satisfactory working conditions and to focus on the rights of the employees.
At this moment in time a German union is describing itself "responsible" for film- and TV-employees despite accepting working conditions which are contrary to the welfare of individuals working in our industry. Their proposal to "limit" working time to 13 hours per day is irresponsible. The possibility to increase this limit by many "reasons" out of the control of the crew would appear to be potentially criminal. A union willingly acting this way is undermining the legitimate rights of its members and all other emloyees.
The extension of working hours on the excuse of "stand-by time during the shooting hours on set" is a complete infringement because such times do not exist. Even a german union should know that - otherwise it has lost its legitimate right to speak and to represent the staff on set.
We appeal to Ver.di not to sign this collective agreement which stands against the European tradition of moderate and humane working conditions. We expect even in Germany the judgement of the European Supreme Court on "stand-by time" to be taken seriously. We pledge IMAGO will not accept social dumping by a german collective agreement fixing 13 hours on set.
As everyone knows working hours do not start and do not end with shooting. Preparation and travelling times have to be taken into account as working time. For example a Camera Assistant has to work even after arriving in his lodging. We expect Ver.di to take care of the health and safety of all staff involved in film production.
Under german law an arbitration process is feasible. Our meeting urges Ver.di to refuse to sign a contract which is against the interest of cinematographers and all crew members!
Nigel Walters (BSC)
President of IMAGO
representing the 37 Societies of the Federation of European Cinematographers
Über Bundesvereinigung der Filmschaffenden-Verbände e.V.
Die Filmschaffenden - Bundesvereinigung der Filmschaffenden-Verbände e.V. ist neben der Interessenvertretung der Sender, Produzenten und Verwerter die Interessenvertretung der Filmschaffenden in Deutschland gegenüber allen Institutionen der Wirtschafts- und Kulturpolitik
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