Recent upheavals in the French audiovisual industry have led to a large-scale strike, with significant effects being felt in the daily TV programming schedule.
Reports have revealed that the strike was initiated due to a lack of growth in the salaries of employees in the sector. As a result of the strike, various TV series shoots have come to a temporary halt. This includes some eagerly-awaited productions from the United States, causing a ripple effect in the global entertainment industry. It has been mentioned that at least 47 series have been impacted by the strike, including popular shows like “HPI” on TF1, “Déter” on France.tv, and a spin-off series of the globally popular “The Walking Dead”.
The Underlying Grievances
The strike action has primarily arisen due to discontent regarding the wages of audiovisual technicians. These technicians, represented by their unions, have been in salary negotiations since the year 2007 with no significant progress. The main demand from these unions is a 20% increase in the minimum guaranteed salaries of these technicians, which comes after a refusal to negotiate by four of the producers' unions.
In an interesting parallel, the strike is reminiscent of a similar strike by actors and writers in Hollywood that stretched on for about five months. CGT, one of the representative bodies, has reported that employees in the sector have experienced a 20% reduction in their purchasing power and have seen a definite decline in working conditions with the emergence of digital platforms.
Support and Expected Impact
Additionally, two unions representing directors have expressed their backing for the strike. They've stated that the strike impacts the entire industry and directly affects the “quality” of the productions. The ripple effects of the strike on affected programs are yet to be ascertained. However, some delays in the broadcast of certain series are expected. For instance, “The Walking Dead” is expected to experience a delay of 48 hours, which is predicted to be compensated for over the weekend.
An “attentive observer” has suggested that the strike may not end soon and could lead to a turbulent ending of the year for French television. On the other hand, the inter-union of France Télévisions has recently established a solidarity fund to financially support the strikers. Additionally, writers in the animation sector have started their own protest movement.
The strike's future development is unpredictable, and it's unclear whether other demands will surface, drawing parallels to the US where issues concerning artificial intelligence have come to the fore. As the strike continues, the French audiovisual industry and its global stakeholders eagerly anticipate a resolution.