Some staff in VFX and animation are being pressed to take pay cuts of up to 25% during the pandemic
Bectu has raised concerns that animation and VFX companies are planning to cut wages and terms and conditions in response to the coronavirus crisis.
As an example, it says DNeg’s London office is pressing staff to accept pay cuts of 20-25%. Bectu also says “other companies are discussing cuts.”
The union says in some cases the proposals are a take it or leave it ‘option’ with very short consultation periods offered to staff.
Bectu asks animation and VFX companies to contact the union before they make any proposals to staff to discuss pay cuts. It will also be publishing guidance to all members on how to respond to any such proposal.
Bectu assistant national secretary Paul Evans said: “Bectu recognises that companies have to make adjustments at this difficult time, and the union welcomes any alternatives intended to reduce job-losses.
“We encourage employers to contact us before making any announcements so that we can reassure members that cuts in wages and terms are being requested for legitimate reasons, and not as an opportunity to continue the race-to-the-bottom that the industry often engages in, in respect to terms and conditions.”
Bectu wants companies to do the following if considering changes to working terms related to the pandemic.
· Give a detailed overview of their financial position to workers before requesting cuts
· Staff being able to access independent advice to interpret such information so that they can understand the way the burden of this issue is being shared between staff and shareholders
· If the company decides to impose pay-cuts, the cuts should be treated as loans from the workers which are paid back before any further dividends are paid to shareholders.
· Assurances should be given to staff affected by these changes about job-security. If they are asked to make a sacrifice in order to keep their job, all losses that are taken as part of that sacrifice should be repaid if they are subsequently made redundant.