New Trade Union for South African Artists to be launched

Regulation & Policy

A new independent, democratic and militant trade union for artists, media and creative industry workers will be launched in Johannesburg on the 03 December 2015.

The South African Media Creative and Cultural Workers Union (SAMCCWU) is a progressive trade union organization that will represent, protect and fight for the rights of filmmakers, writers, musicians, arts educators, craft workers, television crews and technicians, workers in radio broadcasting, tourism as well as those employed in government arts and culture departments, cinema and production houses and academic institutions.

SAMCCWU national convenor Basil Dube said that despite the positive developments that has happened recently such as the release of the Copyright Review Commission headed by Judge Farlam, and the Copyright Amendment Bill, there was a need for a strong, vibrant and militant labour union that will strive to improve the working conditions of workers in the media, creative industries and its allied sectors.

“There are important and very progressive recommendations made by the Copyright Review Commission. We need a labour union that will represent artists and ensure that these recommendations are being implemented” says Dube, who is also the former national organiser of the Cosatu-affiliated Musicians Union of South Africa.

Dube said that SAMCCWU will be the new home of South African artists and will fearlessly campaign for an improvement of their working conditions.
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Some of the key areas the new union will immediately address include sectoral determination, standard contracts for artists and filmmakers, review of artists fees, regulation of foreign artists visiting or working in South Africa, status of children working in the media and performing arts, collective bargaining and the legal protection of artists and cultural workers.

Dube said that the union will embark on a mass mobilization and consultative programme in all nine provinces leading up to the launching congress of SAMCCWU in May 2016.

“We are currently holding information sharing discussions with various industry associations, organisations, councils and federations, also with a view to establish strategic partnerships. SAMCCWU will not affiliate to any political organization” concluded Dube.

For more information and participation in the provincial consultations and campaigns, please contact the national convenor on 0715020564 or email:
Source: Filmcontact 2 October 2015