Cannes Strike: Audiovisual Branch Of Major French Union CGT Throws Weight Behind Festival Workers

An entertainment division of leading French union CGT has thrown its weight behind Cannes Film Festival and other French festival workers who are intending to strike and protest next week over pay and the nature of employment contracts.

The Audiovisual and Cinema Professionals branch of major union CGT took to Instagram tonight to express solidarity with the workers, noting that the “The SPIAC-CGT supports the strike during the Cannes Film Festival, decided by the general assembly of Under The Screens, The Waste: The Collective of Precarious Workers at Film Festivals.”

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The union continued: “We cinema, audiovisual and animation technicians are united with these workers who are constrained to work in conditions which are financially and materially more and more difficult, so that participating films can be shown in the best possible conditions. The making of a film only has a sense if it can be shown, and festivals play a big part in the life and promotion of cinematic works particularly in France.”

The SPIAC-CGT statement noted that the situation for festival workers was set to get tougher due to upcoming reforms of unemployment benefit and backed their demands to be integrated into France’s intermittent scheme, designed to ensure regular income for workers in the entertainment sector.

The group said: “Festival workers currently do not enjoy that status and turn to employment benefit in between contracts. Stricter rules around eligibility for unemployment benefit means they will have no means to survive financially between gigs…The successive reforms of employment benefit and those that are coming are making the situation more and more fragile for festival workers who too often are subjected to low salaries and deteriorating conditions, but in spite of everything contribute to the success of the event to which they are attached.”

So far it remains unclear how the potentially disruptive strike action will play out next week when the event gets underway but the festival yesterday released a statement calling for dialogue.

A group of up to 200 workers from Cannes and other festivals have vowed to stage protests and down tools.

We first revealed the discontent among the workers last week. You can read our initial report here.

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