Equity at TUC Congress 2019

Equity is a proud member of the TUC and is sending a delegation to its annual Congress that takes place 8 - 11 September in Brighton. 

The delegation will be involved in the full programme and will be putting forward two motions on the EU Copyright Directive and class inequality. You can read the full text of the motions below. 

It is anticipated that these will be heard by Congress on Monday afternoon and Tuesday. Read the full programme. You can watch Congress live here.

EU Copyright Directive - Motion 27
EU directives have been vital for creating and improving intellectual property rights that enable performers and authors to get remunerated and to benefit from commercial revenues – and share in the success – of a production, which is given value from their work. Through collective agreements and contracts, Equity is able to negotiate performers’ exclusive rights for secondary and additional use payments for the repeat use of their work.

The new EU Copyright Directive marks a critical step forward for performers and authors in getting fairer remuneration for use of their work, depending on how the UK enshrines the directive into national legislation. For example, there should be full implementation of the “principle of appropriate and proportionate remuneration” in Article 18, by which authors and performers will be able to seek compensation for the exploitation of their work, proportionate to the revenues generated by their material, rather than based on a flat rate. Its aim is to correct a “value gap” that has opened up between content sharing providers and content creators, which has allowed a few companies to earn huge profits without properly remunerating the thousands of creatives whose work they depend on.

Congress calls on the UK government to implement this directive fully into UK law in a manner which delivers on its goals and to work with trade unions and other stakeholders to that end.

Class inequality - Motion 35
Congress notes the recent report by the Social Mobility Commission that found that inequality and class privilege remain entrenched in the UK. It found that those from working-class backgrounds face considerable disadvantages in the labour market, are less likely to be in professional jobs than their more affluent peers and if they do get a professional job, earn 17 per cent less; with multiple disadvantages faced by women, people with disabilities and BAME groups from working-class backgrounds.

Congress notes the ongoing work by Equity to address the disadvantages faced by working-class performers and creative practitioners getting into and making progress in the creative industries. A core issue is the prevalence of low pay and sometimes no pay and the precariousness of work in the sector, which is predominately freelance, characterised by insecure and short-term contracts. This disadvantages those without independent financial means, working other part time jobs, who do not have the flexibility when auditions are called and work is offered at short notice.

Congress affirms the vital role played by trade unions in combating class inequalities, by challenging discrimination and securing financially sustainable careers with decent pay and conditions.

Congress supports plans by the TUC for a major new initiative on class and calls on the General Council to campaign for measures that will help close the privilege gap, including calling on the UK government to introduce a legal requirement on public bodies aimed at reducing socio-economic disadvantage.