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Friday 27 April 2018

Film crews demand action over having to work 66-hour weeks

Denise Walker has complained about workers’ hours
Denise Walker has complained about workers’ hours

Film crews are being asked to work up to 66 hours a week, while workers who try to stand up for their rights are being blackballed, it has been claimed.

Representatives of film crews, including set designers and drivers, appeared before the Oireachtas Committee on Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht yesterday to discuss their working conditions.

Unsafe

John Arkins, general secretary of the Irish Film Workers Association, said crew were being told they would never work again if they asked to become PAYE workers with some production companies.

He claimed Siptu had entered into agreements with production companies requiring film crew members to work more tan 48 hours a week.

Denise Walker, a regional organiser for trade union GMB Ireland, which represents 300 film workers, said the hours that drivers work are unsafe.

In some cases, she claimed, drivers were being asked to work 12-hour days.

"There's a health and safety risk to drivers, their passengers and other road users," she said.

She added that producers were "forcing people to work beyond the legal limits" and said the work could be split between others.

Asked what she would change about the sector, Ms Walker said "security of employment" and the working week were important to address.

The committee was told that in some cases workers with years of experience were being told they could only work on a project if it was as a trainee and on a trainee's rate of pay.

Film crews have demanded action
Film crews have demanded action

Sinn Fein TD Peadar Toibin suggested the Irish Film Board establish a forum on the film industry.

"I think that would be a good idea," he said.

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