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The French Entertainment Industry Association is ready to support the strike in Cannes

EXCLUSIVE: The main French trade union of people employed in the entertainment and culture sector – CGT-Spectacle – is ready to provide official support for the planned strike action of festival workers during the upcoming edition of the Cannes Film Festival.

Festival workers associated with the Cannes Film Festival, its parallel sections Directors’ Fortnight and Critics’ Week, and a number of other French film festivals announced earlier this week that they had voted to take strike action during the 81st edition of the Cannes Film Festival (14–14). 25th of May). ) due to unapplied demands regarding salary and employment status.

“CGT-Spectacle supports the demands and the strike movement… we are also in close contact with these workers,” a spokesperson told Deadline, adding that an official statement confirming the union’s support will likely be released in the coming days.

The collective representing festival workers also plans to stage several public protests during the two-week event, and this week launched an online petition in support of their campaign, which has been widely circulated on social media by representatives of French industry. The petition is private, so it is currently impossible to check how many people have signed it.

Official support for the CGT-Spectacle union would be a coup d’état for the festival workers, who have not yet revealed what form the strike action will take.

The umbrella union includes nine different guilds representing professionals working in the entertainment and cultural sectors, including the performing arts, music and fine arts.

Traditionally, he also sits on the administrative board of the Cannes Film Festival. A spokesman for CGT-Spectacle said having a union member on the Cannes board would not affect its stance on the festival workers’ campaign.

Earlier this week, CGT-Spectacle member Le SPIAC-CGT, representing the interests of audiovisual and cinema production workers, became the first union to signal its official support for festival workers.

The French directors’ guild La SRF (La Société des Réalisatrices et Réalisateurs), which organizes Directors Fortnight and is also a member of GCT-Spectacle, has not yet issued a public statement on its position.

Combining under the banner of the Collective of Insecure Film Festival Workers (Le Collectif des précaires des festivali de cinéma), the demands of festival workers are twofold.

First, they are asking for better compensation packages that take into account long working hours when events are in full swing.

Secondly, they want to be officially recognized as temporary workers in the entertainment industry, or intermittents du spectacle. This status would enable them to access a special benefits system in France for people working in the entertainment sector, adapted to the fact that they are often employed on temporary contracts and providing an income throughout the year.

People working at French film festivals – which cover around 600 individual events – are currently employed in a variety of jobs and have so far relied on general unemployment benefits to survive between contracts.

They argue that the upcoming reform of unemployment benefits is likely to make them ineligible for support, which in turn will force them to leave the sector.