Giving a human face to digitalisation & the future world of work

Thursday 29 October 2015

Digitalisation, a main driver of structural change in the media and entertainment industries is at the heart of the General Assembly of UNI MEI Global Union bringing together 140 unions and guilds in Lisbon Portugal. This change requires a redefinition of what a fair bargain for creators, technicians and all other workers means. In Lisbon, the global community of media & entertainment unions put forward its positions and an action plan to step up cooperation across borders to push for a fairer and more inclusive industry.

“The role of unions is to give a human face to digitalisation and the future world of work in a global economy”, said UNI Global Union General Secretary Philip Jennings. To be able to play this role, we need strong unions in all regions and sectors. That is why global and regional cooperation among unions & guilds needs to focus on contributing to union growth and power. That is why the UNI MEI Action Plan 2020 (see under related files below to download) gives priority to organising and capacity building. The role of women is central to the future of unions & guilds and achieving more gender equality is an important transversal objective, which is reflected in growing representation of women in the newly elected leadership. UNI MEI will continue building its equality network and supporting affiliates to develop their capacities to have fully inclusive union structures.

In a context of change, regulatory decisions at national, regional and international level will redefine many aspects of our societies, our industries and the working environment of colleagues represented by unions & guilds in the media, entertainment & arts.

Gerry Morrissey, BECTU General Secretary and President of UNI MEI said “UNI MEI is giving a global voice to creators and workers to advocate what rules we need and we want for a sustainable and social digital environment.” Morrissey emphasised that UNI MEI wants to work for a holistic industrial policy approach for the digital economy that puts those who create at the centre of such policy targeting quality, cultural diversity and sustainable growth. UNI MEI advocates the strengthening of media transparency, the independence and sustainable development of the media and public broadcasting, and campaigns for strong and modern regimes of intellectual property rights, which enable innovation, creation, fair remuneration and participation.

To sustain active public policies in support of culture, arts and film & TV production in a global economy and against the paradigms of austerity and deregulation is an important objective that is shared among unions and of its social partners. “We are very pleased and happy to work with our global sister unions of actors, journalists and musicians as well as with the EBU and PEARLE* for sustainable public culture policies and sufficient public funding to enable public service broadcasting and cultural institutions to fulfil their tasks essential for the functioning of democratic societies”, said William Maunier, the European regional President and UNI Europa Vice President.

Media and entertainment workers face increasing challenges to freedom of expression and freedom of association. We witness a push back, including in democratic societies, against free speech and trade union rights. Media workers are exposed to growing hostility. That is why, affiliates of UNI MEI are committing – through a strategic action plan – to invest more in this important fight for us and for our societies.