Vancouver Directors Guild Reaches Agreement to Avoid Production Shutdown

The Vancouver branch of the Directors Guild of Canada has reached an agreement with studios to avert a strike that threatened to shut down film and television production in British Columbia.

The union issued a strike notice on April 26 after talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and the Canadian Media Producers Association stalled. This was followed earlier in the month by the union’s first-ever vote to authorize a strike, which passed with 92.2% approval.

In a statement on Wednesday, the union said it had reached a tentative agreement.

“As of this afternoon, the DGC BC has reached a preliminary agreement with the AMPTP and the CMPA,” the union said. “We are finalizing the wording of the Memorandum of Agreement and will release further details once this is complete.”

The union represents approximately 1,700 directors and other film and television workers in the Vancouver area. Negotiators have been working on a new deal since the last deal expired in March 2021. The union has previously said the studios are refusing to budge on issues such as higher wages for low-wage workers, compensation for COVID testing and retrospective increases once the last agreement expires.

British Columbia has become a television production hub over the past few decades, thanks to generous provincial and federal government subsidies. Production continued during negotiations, with producers signing “safe harbor” agreements that would allow them to continue in the event of a strike. However, no new safe harbor arrangements have been granted since the strike was announced. Under Canadian law, the union was required to give 72 hours’ notice of the strike.

The AMPTP and CMPA had previously warned that the union’s approach risked forcing production to relocate out of the province. Vancouver Directors Guild Reaches Agreement to Avoid Production Shutdown

Charles Jones

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