FIA-LA's Workers Day Statement on Performers' rights
During a recent meeting inSão Paulo, delegates from the Latin American group of the federation (FIA-LA) unanimously endorsed a Workers’ Day Statement recalling the importance of performers’ unions in the region and the need to further support initiatives strengthening their work at national and international level.
Stay tuned for a report on theSão Paulomeeting in the coming days. In the meantime, read and download the Statement thanks to the link below.
FIA-LA meeting in Buenos Aires, December 2012
Twelve FIA-LA members coming from nine different countries spreading out over the continent (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and Uruguay) took part to a joint seminar with Latin American UNI-MEI affiliates, developing their common work on health and safety and mobility of workers in the audiovisual industry.
Driven by the energy of a recent meeting held only two months before at the FIA Congress in Toronto, they also further discussed their shared interests and common goals as a group. Topics of discussion were numerous and varied, allowing the FIA-LA members to discuss issues such as the relationship with collecting societies, the potential growth of the FIA membership in Latin America, the initiatives that exist to promote gender equality in the audiovisual and live performance industry, new and innovative means of (self-)funding for the unions, etc.
The group also decided to engage in a compilation of national legislations – or at least their descriptions – that are of interest for the promotion of performers’ rights. In addition, this Buenos Aires meeting saw FIA-LA elect its new President and General Secretary – respectively Luis Alí from Argentina and María Verônica do Nascimento Gomes, from Brazilian State Espiritu Santo.
Two FIA-LA resolutions were adopted. One recalling the FIA-LA support to its Ecuadorian member FENARPE, and one encouraging the Peruvian State to be more respectful of its Laws on the Foreign Status and on the Performing Artist. You can read and download those two resolutions below the pictures of the meeting.
FIA-LA President Luis Alí and Secretary General Maria Verônica do Nascimento Gomes
Meeting of the FIA-LA Group in Marrakech, October 2008
The FIA-LA group took advantage of the presence of many of its members in Marrakesh for the FIA World Congress in October 2008 to hold a meeting. The group has been meeting yearly within the framework of different regional seminars organised on themes of common interest. Thus, this was a valuable opportunity to assess the work done and ways of making the group more cohesive and effective. Better communication was one of the priorities for the group and it expressed its will to work towards making more Spanish-language resources available on the website. There was also support for the creation of a Spanish-Portuguese linguistic group within FIA, which was then submitted to the Congress as an emergency motion.
3-5 August 2007 - Caracas, Venezuela
The last FIA-La meeting took place in Caracas, Venezuela, from August 3 to 5, 2007, pulling together representatives from performer unions in most of the countries in Central and South America. It focused on the health and social security of performers working in theatre, film and television production. Due to their precarious status and to the lack of adequate policies, an overwhelming majority of professional performers in the region have no access to decent and affordable health care. Many of them are “self-employed”, which denies them access to public benefits and requires them to sign up to private insurances, which they rarely do. Most of them end up doing something else for a living to have minimum security.
Representatives introduced the many initiatives that their respective unions are taking to offset this lack of protection. Some have focused on prevention, running safety campaigns across the country to raise the awareness of performers about health-related issues and HIV. Inadequate working conditions in live performance were often referred to – especially in circus. In Brazil the mortality rate among circus artists is very high and artists often have to work in marginal and violent suburban areas. A few unions have raised sponsorship from private companies to reduce the cost of private social security schemes – or have signed conventions with medical practitioners to offer cheaper health services to their members.
Many others are actively campaigning to ensure that performers can be fully recognized as “workers”, and are seeking inspiration from special social security regimes (e.g. those benefiting fishermen) to draft innovative proposals for their policy makers to consider. Generally speaking, in fact, self-employed status in Latin America inevitably deprives performers of the protection of collective agreements, meaning they cannot take advantage of any possible advancement that the union may be able to reach with the employers.
Very few performer unions in Latin America have been able to set up retirement funds, to which employers contribute. When this is the case, however, the underlying agreements are hard to enforce. Performers are often made to sign two contracts for the same job, only one of which – with a much smaller fee – is filed with the union. One or two unions have successfully set up their own health care system, to which the members contribute at a bargain rate.
FIA-La unions decided to work on a groundbreaking regional agreement that would open up some of the best union friendly health treatments in their country to their respective members, with no discrimination.
The next meeting of the FIA-La group will be in Marrakech, in October 2008 – on the occasion of the 19th FIA World Congress.