Recently I wrote about an issue that arose regarding construction crew pay on Loving Miss Hatto. Octagon Films recently got itself embroiled in a controversial local deal with craft unions on its production of Loving Miss Hatto. Much of the problems stem from the fact that a deal was done between Octagon and what appeared union’s officials incognito, and neither side informed the crew members prior to their employment. Worse still crew members worked 2 weeks on part payment before they were finally informed by production that a 12.5 per cent pay reduction would be imposed.
Today the crew of Loving Miss Hatto took their case to the Labour Relations Commission for conciliation talks regarding the 12.5% pay cut imposed by Octagon Films. For some time producers have engaged in local deals on various productions, in the absence of a national pay agreement with construction unions. Following today’s Labour Relations Commission talks it appears that these deals were in fact agreed between an individual crew members and producers, hardly best practice on the part of the producers. Des Courtney of Siptu represented the crew Loving Miss Hatto today made clear that these deals were never sanctioned by Siptu.
Following today’s Labour Relations Commission talks James Flynn (Octagon Films) decided to concede the claim on this matter “due to the error in communication with the crew” and restore the 12.5% pay deducted from the crews pay. This serves as further proof of the shambolic practices that have been on going in the industry for some time. The pay rates of construction will most likely have to be reduced to make Irish crews more competitive, but this must be achieved in a transparent way, through negotiation between Screen Producers Ireland, union official’s and voted on by all its members.
Categories: Film and TV