Tatiana Maslany, Elliot Page, Martin Short and Ingrid Haas are among Canadian actors supporting an open letter calling on fellow performers in British Columbia to vote down a proposal by American producers to extend their Union of British Columbia Performers/Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (UBCP/ACTRA) labor deal for another year to March 31, 2025 in return for a 5 percent wage increase.
That agreement between the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers (AMPTP) and its local counterpart, the BC branch of the Canadian Media Producers Association, and local representatives for IATSE 891 (IATSE 669, Teamsters 155, the Directors Guild of Canada’s BC branch and UBCP/ACTRA) now faces ratification votes by the wider membership.
In all, 68 Canadian actors put their names to the July 10 open letter that urges West Coast performers with the UBCP/ACTRA union to reject a “preemptive deal” they claim will undercut current contact talks stateside with the SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild. of America that has led to a double Hollywood strike.
“We will not be used as a bargaining chip. We deserve our own deal and we deserve better than this,” states the open letter obtained by The News84Media. The proposed one-year extension deal comes as local film, TV talent and crews face a shutdown of American film and TV projects in and around Vancouver as SAG-AFTRA begins its own work stoppage in the wake of an ongoing strike by the WGA.
Will Sasso, Daniel Maslany, Dustin Milligan, Joey Klein, Lara Jean Chorostecki, Dave Foley, Mae Martin and Emily Hampshire also lent their names to the open letter that coincides with the British Columbia guilds and unions, including the UBCP-ACTRA, having until July 20 to vote on whether to accept the proposed contract extension.
The signatories to the open letter argue that extending working conditions to 2025 will reduce leverage for Canadian actors when they renegotiate their own labor deal set to expire in 2024.
“This is an unprecedented time. Our employers have increased their profits by billions, while slashing our compensation and undermining our working conditions. But we, too, have power. Our strength is in solidarity — with our members and with the labor movement at large. This is an inflection point. We must protect ourselves, our worth and the future artists in our industry. The economic survival of our very professions are at stake,” reads the open letter.
Ennis Esmer, Amanda Crew, Carly Pope, Connor Jessup, Martha Macisaac, Rachel Blanchard, Grace Lynn Kung, Kate Ziegler, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, Ben Lewis, Ellen Wong and Elana Dunkelman are also among the notable names to have signed the open letter. .
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