Actors picket screen producers HQ

17 August, 2009 by IF

By Adam Coleman

Australian actors conducted a rally on Friday in protest over the refusal of Screen Producers’ Association of Australia (SPAA) to negotiate a new offshore commercials agreement.


The rally comes after 98 per cent of Alliance Equity section members voted to go on “strike” at midnight last Thursday following the lapse of the previous offshore commercials agreement.

According to the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA), the agreement set the minimum terms and conditions for artists working on foreign commercials shot in Australia.

The actors gathered at SPAA’s offices in Fitzroy Street, Surry Hills and were addressed by Alliance federal president Patricia Amphlett and the president of the Equity section of the Alliance Simon Burke.

Equity section director Simon Whipp told INSIDEFILM “the performers were trying to send SPAA a message, ‘just talk to us’.

“The unfortunate thing was that SPAA found out about the rally and rather than come and talk to us, they had shut up their office, pulled the blinds, turned out the lights and left.

“In addition they had hired a lawyer, to hire a private investigator to film the entire event,” he said.

In a previous interview with INSIDEFILM, SPAA production executive, Bethwyn Serow warned against picketing.

“Picketing is not a legal action so that is really provocative. Anyone who ends up interfering with the ongoing workplace there are serious ramifications for that and I certainly hope that no one chooses to do that because it would be very unfortunate,” she says.


The rally makes its way along Crown St in Surry Hills