Historic First Meeting Between UK & Irish Equity Bosses As They Seek Better Conditions For Irish Actors

A historic first meeting has taken place between the UK and Irish heads of actors union Equity in which they called for film productions in Ireland to ensure equal and fair terms and conditions for both British and Irish performers.

Ireland has in recent years become a hotbed of activity for TV and film and a  record €500M ($550M) was spent there last year but international production companies are still paying lesser terms and applying worse conditions to Irish actors, according to the union.

Many production companies in the Republic of Ireland offer buy-outs to actors who then lose appropriate royalties and protection for their performances while their employers enjoy government tax breaks and licence fee revenues, the union added.

Equity General Secretary Paul Fleming and Irish Equity President Gerry O’Brien met for the first time earlier this week and said they would do further work in the future to harmonize our expectations of fair treatment and ensure a good deal from producers,” according to Fleming.

Union members also agreed to mobilise their colleague actors to stop unfair practices and ensure fair treatment as their audiences would expect.

O’Brien added: “Both Unions have been compromised by the dominant position exercised by producers in imposing lesser terms and conditions in their agreements on Irish based performers in the Republic of Ireland. At the point of production, in both television series and films, the minimum terms and conditions for the engagement of performers can favour non- resident performers over local hire.”

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