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Over 1000 UK Workers in the Film Industry find themselves 'in an unpaid suspension' amid strikes



More than a thousand employees within the UK's film industry find themselves in an unpaid suspension as strikes initiated by Hollywood writers and actors ripple through the sector, a prominent union has revealed.


Among the impacted productions, including "Wicked," "Deadpool 3," and a Formula 1 feature film starring Brad Pitt, all of which were being filmed in the UK, have been put on hold due to the industrial actions taking place in the United States.


During a recent webinar, Spencer MacDonald, the national secretary of Bectu, a trade union representing creative industries, shed light on the situation, noting that workers were being suspended under provisions outlined in one-sided contracts known as "force majeure." This contractual clause, often referred to as an "act of God," places fewer legal obligations on employers, allowing them to take such measures.


MacDonald expressed concern about the fairness of the situation, as workers are left in a state of limbo while still bound by their contracts. He urged the industry to catch up with the unfolding reality.


Meanwhile, the Film and TV Charity stepped in by announcing an additional £500,000 to provide financial support to workers in the UK's film, TV, and cinema sectors who are facing immediate financial challenges. The organization witnessed an astounding 800% surge in grant applications during the summer, reflecting the dire circumstances many are facing.


Paul Fleming, the general secretary of Equity, which represents British actors who are not participating in the strike, acknowledged the deepening impact of the dispute. He stressed the necessity for the UK industry to endure certain challenges in order to support the broader cause and position Sag-Aftra for success in their negotiations.


While acknowledging the frustration of Equity members, Fleming directed blame toward the studio companies for their role in the ongoing conflict. He emphasized that it's the producers who are causing ongoing harm to the industry.


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