Actors ‘strike’ continues

06 October, 2009 by IF

Australian performers remain in dispute after more than two months with the Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA), who have effectively ripped up the agreement relating to offshore commercials.

Performers are refusing to take work on non-union offshore commercials until SPAA agrees to sit down with their representatives and either resume the agreement that protects their rights and conditions or negotiate a new one.


So far SPAA has refused to do either and has declined to meet with Equity representatives despite repeated requests to do so.

The director of Actors’ Equity Australia, Simon Whipp, said Equity has continually tried to get SPAA’s attention in a bid to break the impasse. 

 “While SPAA’s been busy playing games we have been meeting with individual producers to reach agreements that allow them to film commercials in Australia and we remain willing to do so.  Australian performers want to perform…. so long as producers are willing to play fair.” said Mr Whipp.

Last week Actors Equity reached an agreement that allowed a commercial for US pharmaceutical company Cialis to film in Australia, so long as they use the agreement terminated by SPAA.

After still having heard nothing from SPAA, actors recently sent special delivery to SPAA’s Annual General Meeting in Sydney: a box of chocolates to each SPAA board member with a card reading “You never ring, you never write … was it something we said?”

Still, there has been no response from SPAA.

 "Australian performers value the opportunity to work on offshore commercials, but do not want to be at the mercy of producers and be forced to accept whatever pay and conditions they are prepared to offer.” said Mr Whipp.

“Equity is, and always has been, about attracting jobs and economic activity to Australia. But SPAA’s ongoing refusal to sit down, talk and negotiate a new agreement has left performers with no option but to strike.”