Producers win Gods of Egypt dispute
The Australian technicians’ union has lost its case against the producers of Gods of Egypt, Alex Proyas’ $150 million fantasy adventure starring Gerard Butler, Game of Thrones’ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Geoffrey Rush and Brenton Thwaites.
The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance had sought to block the industrial agreement covering crew working on the production from being registered with the Fair Work Commission.
The union opposed the agreement because it was signed by a small number of crew employed during pre-production but applied to workers who were hired later, and it claimed the conditions meant significant cuts to overtime, night loadings and travel time.
The agreement has been registered with the Fair Work Commission following a Federal Court judge's ruling which the union says struck down an important FWC precedent on which its objections rested.
In a newsletter to members, the MEAA said, “The FWC had previously decided that in some circumstances it will be unfair for an employer to use a small group of employees to make an agreement that has broad application to many future employees, if this has the effect of undermining collective bargaining.
“Consistent with this approach, MEAA argued that making an agreement with a small group of pre-production employees which reduced penalty rates for shooting crew was unfair and undermines collective bargaining.
“The Federal Court decision is being appealed and the union is optimistic that this important principle of fairness will be restored.”
The MEAA said that in similar circumstances in future it will seek the intervention of the Commission to ensure that producers bargain in good faith.
Produced by Summit Entertainment, Basil Iwanyk’s Thunder Road Pictures and Proyas' Mystery Clock Cinema, Gods of Egypt is shooting at the Fox Studios.