Thursday, 21 February 2019

Questions (50)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

50. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if efforts to establish a film stakeholders' forum have been abandoned due to the fact that some stakeholders have decided to boycott it; if so, the reason some stakeholders are allowed to effectively veto efforts to resolve ongoing disputes across the industry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8674/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht on the Development and Working Conditions in the Irish Film Industry recommended in July that Screen Ireland (formerly the Irish Film Board) constitute a Film Forum, with an independent Chair, in order to allow all stakeholders within the sector to meet and work together to develop mutually beneficial solutions for the industry. 

Screen Ireland has been endeavouring to organise the Forum and had drawn up a list of all stakeholders to invite to the Forum.  These include representatives of workers in the industry which include

- The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU)

- SIPTU

- Irish Film Workers Association (IFWA)

- GMBh Trade Union

- Screen Guilds of Ireland

The emergence of disputes between stakeholders have, however, impeded progress on the Forum.  I understand that following the transmission of an RTÉ Prime Time programme on the film industry, ICTU and SIPTU stated that they would not attend a Forum to which the IFWA is invited, and that  the Screen Guilds of Ireland gave a similar response.  Based on the ICTU position, Screen Producers Ireland also indicated that it would not attend. 

It is important to underline that the State has formal institutional arrangements for the resolution of disputes in all industries.  The audiovisual industry is not exempt from these arrangements which consist of the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court.  The Film Forum would have a developmental role in the industry.

My Department will work with the Audiovisual High Level Steering Group to address issues raised in the audiovisual industry, and to support the industry and the people who work in it.