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Screen industry bill a new start for NZ filmmaking, say unions

Unions across Aotearoa New Zealand are celebrating the Screen Industry Workers’ Bill passing into law today.

The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, the New Zealand Writers Guild, the Directors and Editors Guild of Aotearoa New Zealand and Equity New Zealand have welcomed the new legislation.

The Screen Industry Workers’ Bill provides a framework to establish occupation-wide minimum terms and conditions through collective bargaining.

NZCTU National Secretary Melissa Ansell-Bridges said all screen industry workers deserved the benefits of collective bargaining.

“This is an historic moment for people power in New Zealand. All of us deserve to have our voices heard at work. Collective bargaining gives us that right.”

Executive Director of the New Zealand Writers Guild Alice Shearman said the legislation will create significant improvements for the lives of working people in New Zealand’s screen industry.

“The screen industry brings so much to the New Zealand economy and to our sense of identity as a nation. It’s vitally important that workers in the industry are treated fairly, and now we can ensure they will be.”

Equity New Zealand Executive Director Denise Roche said this Bill was an important step in reversing the damage of the ‘Hobbit law’.

“It’s about time working people in the screen industry got the protection and security they deserve.”

Executive Director of the Directors and Editors Guild of Aotearoa New Zealand Tui Ruwhiu said the legislation has the potential to transform the entire industry.

“This change has been a long time coming and we are thrilled it’s finally here. It will bring a new level of professionalism to the industry that is long overdue and will put us on a par with screen sectors in many other developed nations.”