“Poverty wages” in NZ film industry; insecure, badly paid, says Helen Kelly

News from NZ Council of Trade Unions
Workers in New Zealand’s movie making industry are earning poverty wages. Three-quarters of the 12,600 jobs earned less than $13,200 in 2013 according to new statistics released by Statistics New Zealand. 

“Production made up almost half of the jobs in the screen industry, but most people employed got very little from the work they do”, says CTU president Helen Kelly.

“Half of them earned less than $2,625 in the year. These jobs are insecure, badly paid, and often very short term. Production work that was contracted out showed huge disparities in income with half of the jobs getting $14,646 or less but a quarter getting more than $59,998.”

“The bad pay and insecure work reflects the stripping of work rights from film industry workers in the 2010 amendment to the Employment Relations Act forced through Parliament at the suggestion of Warner Brothers. The Act stripped them of rights to annual leave, sick leave, the Minimum Wage, to bargain collectively, strike, be treated in good faith by their employer and personal grievance procedures.”

“We’re calling for those rights to be restored and an end to short term foreign film crew permits which undermine the development of good jobs in our film production industry.”

“In 2014, the great majority of funding from within New Zealand came from the government – $258 million compared to $46 million (a 40% drop) from the local private sector. Government funding was almost half of the total $531 million funding for the year. It should be used to make the production and contracting industry a much better place to work.” Kelly said.


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