Fighting Words: SA To Launch Militant Trade Union For Artists, Media

Fighting Words: SA To Launch Militant Trade Union For Artists, Media

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A new independent, democratic and militant trade union for artists, media and creative industry workers will be launched in Johannesburg Dec. 3.

The South African Media Creative and Cultural Workers Union is a progressive trade union organisation that will represent, protect and fight for the rights of filmmakers, writers, musicians, arts educators, craft workers, TV crews and technicians, workers in radio broadcasting, tourism as well as those employed in government arts and culture departments, cinema and production houses and academic institutions.

Basil Dube, union convener, said that despite positive developments recently, there is still a need for a strong, vibrant and militant labor union that will try to improve working conditions in the media, creative industries and allied sectors.

These positive developments include the release of the Copyright Review Commission and the Copyright Amendment Bill.

“There are important and very progressive recommendations made by the Copyright Review Commission. We need a labour union that will represent artists and ensure that these recommendations are being implemented,” said Dube. Dube is the former national organizer of the Musicians Union of South Africa, which was affiliated with the Congress of South Africa Trade Unions (COSATU).

Dube said that South African Media Creative and Cultural Workers Union will be the new home of South African artists and will fearlessly campaign for an improvement of their working conditions.

Some of the key areas the new union will immediately address include standard contracts for artists and filmmakers, artists fees, regulation of foreign artists visiting or working in South Africa, status of children working in the media and performing arts, collective bargaining and the legal protection of artists and cultural workers.

Dube said that the union will embark on a mass mobilization and consultative program in all nine South African provinces leading up to the launching congress of of the union in May 2016.

“We are currently holding information-sharing discussions with various industry associations, organisations, councils and federations, also with a view to establish strategic partnerships. SAMCCWU will not affiliate to any political organisation,” Dube said.

Read more at ScreenAfrica.