Solidarity Statements

Thank you to the following sibling unions and allies for sharing statements of solidarity in our fight to protect the rights and working conditions of performers who make commercials. Issues should be resolved at the bargaining table. An attack on one union is an attack on the labour movement.

End the Lock Out: BIPOC TV & Film stands in solidarity with ACTRA commercial performers

ACTRA commercial performers across Canada are in an ongoing fight for fair and equitable wages and safe working conditions.

BIPOC TV & Film recognizes the important part that unions play in protecting the most precarious workers from being taken advantage of, and we condemn the advertising agencies who seek to undermine these protections in the interest of cost-cutting.

These actions will disproportionately impact performers who are Black, Indigenous or Persons of Colour, who already experience a wage gap with union protections in place.

Without union protections in place, this wage gap will only widen – undoing much of the progress our community has worked hard to win over the past several years.

We call on the Institute of Canadian Agencies to uphold their commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion. Work with ACTRA and the advertisers at the bargaining table. End this unnecessary lock-out now.

Canadian Actors’ Equity Association stands in solidarity with ACTRA in its crucial efforts to secure fair and equitable wages and working conditions for performers working in commercials across the country.

Your fight is of profound significance to your members – many of whom are our members. But it is also one of great consequence to all artists in Canada, and indeed around the world, who rely on the protection and provisions of a collective agreement, bargained in good faith, to ensure their livelihood in the arts and entertainment industry.

We applaud ACTRA’s members for standing strong in the face of the Institute of Canadian Agencies’ unmistakable union-busting strategy, and we add our voice to your call for dignity and respect.

Equity stands with you.

The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), whose membership includes over 3 million workers, expresses solidarity with ACTRA in their fight to improve working conditions for their members in the commercial sector.

In nearly a year of negotiations to renew the National Collective Agreement (NCA), the Institute of Canadian Agencies (ICA) and nine large Canadian advertising agencies persistently have attempted to gut their agreement with workers.

The agencies have tried to cut pay, health benefits and retirement contributions. They have attempted to undermine workplace protections and sought to breach their obligations by producing commercials with non-union workers.

The last few years have been hard for everyone, especially workers in industries hard hit by the pandemic, which includes creative content producers. Instead of treating their workers with fairness, these Canadian advertising agencies are choosing to add to the hardship their workers had experienced due to the pandemic.

After imposing a lockout deadline of April 26, the ICA declared the agreement expired and unlawfully locked out ACTRA’s 28,000 members from the workplace. Instead of fairly bargaining with their workers, the ICA has chosen to stop work and impose continued hardship on their effected employees.

The CLC adds its voice to the many urging the ICA to return to the bargaining table, get workers back on the job producing content, and negotiate a fair deal.

The Directors Guild of Canada stands in solidarity with ACTRA in their fight for a fair and equitable end to the cynical and unwarranted lockout of performers imposed by the Institute of Canadian Agencies (ICA).

For nearly a year, the ICA has pursued a reckless campaign attempting to gut ACTRA’s National Commercial Agreement (NCA) – one of two collective agreements governing the engagement of performers working in commercials. The ICA has sought to alter crucial sections of the agreement that would mean less pay, fewer health benefits and lower retirement contributions for members – as well as the removal of vital workplace protections. Let there be no doubt: These agencies are pursuing a union-busting strategy aimed at employing non-union actors and lowering standards for everyone in our industry.

The actions of ICA have resulted in a lockout of 28,000 ACTRA members.

As a fellow labour organization that relies on fair and respectful collective agreements, we know that ACTRA will do everything in its power to accomplish what is in the best interests of their members. We stand strong with ACTRA and urge the ICA to return to the bargaining table to reach a deal that will end this lockout and get ACTRA members back to work.

The EIC board and its member agencies stand strong with TAMAC agents, the ACA, the A2C, and ACTRA members. The current union busting disruption of our industry by the ICA negatively impacts all of us.

Nothing justifies this disruption. It is a manufactured issue, a bad faith strategy of bargaining to impasse, followed by an outrageous and false claim that choosing to bargain to impasse means the agreement is then nullified. It. Is. Not. Nullified.

People who bargain this way are putting their business reputations and their national and global brands at risk — especially when their agenda is to impose deep pay cuts, to withhold family benefits and pensions, and to gut use fees for our clients.

We urge the advertising agencies who have chosen to enable this conduct to reconsider and return to the bargaining table.

We call on ACTRA members to stand strong. We stand strong with you.

Equity UK stands in solidarity with our siblings in ACTRA in their dispute with a group of Canadian agencies who have chosen to follow bad advice from their trade association. For decades the commercial industry has relied on the talent and dedication of professional unionized performers to help shed their products and commercials in the best light. It is a mutually beneficial relationship that has lasted for over 6 decades in Canada. It is shameful that during a pandemic with record inflation across the globe, the Institute of Canadian Agencies (the ICA) has engaged in union busting tactics designed to strip from ACTRA performers their basic minimum protections as well as their retirement security and healthcare benefits.

Why at a time of worldwide uncertainty would these ad agencies want to place advertisers and their brands at risk and create chaos that could permanently and negatively impact the Canadian advertising industry.

We share your struggle as Equity UK and its members work together as we strive to realise our ambitions of agreeing to a collectively bargained agreement for TV Commercials here in the UK.

We are writing today to let them know they are being watched around the world. And we are writing to congratulate our Canadian colleagues for standing together; to urge them on in this fight; and to know you are not standing alone.

The International Federation of Actors (FIA) represents performers' trade unions, guilds and professional associations in about 70 countries around the world. In a connected world of content and entertainment, it stands for fair social, economic and moral rights for audiovisual performers working in all recorded media and live theatre.

Commercials permeate our lives and societies and influence consumer behavior. They are a major driver of business for the branded services and goods they advertise. Performers play a key role in turning those commercials into successful promotional arguments. It is unethical and profoundly unjust for the Institute of Canadian Agencies to deny them fair wages and working conditions. At times of record inflation rates and after two appalling years of hardship, when so many among them lost their jobs and income, fairly negotiated industry standards are more vital than ever.

In locking unionized performers out of jobs and refusing to engage with ACTRA to negotiate equitable terms of engagement, their behaviour is on a par with that of unscrupulous corporations, who do not hesitate to exploit workers around the globe to maximize their own profits.

FIA and its worldwide membership stand in solidarity with our Canadian brothers and sisters who are fighting for the respect they deserve and the right to earn a fair living from their work. We also applaud ACTRA, a member of our Executive Committee, for taking a bold and courageous stand and fighting back tooth and nail to secure their members a fair contract.

We urge ICA to reconsider its position and resume good-faith negotiations with ACTRA without further delay.

The IATSE supports ACTRA in its efforts to protect performers working in Canadian commercials. All workers deserve fair wages and working conditions, and a collective agreement covering all performers is the only way to achieve that.

For the health of the commercial industry and its performers, we urge the Institute of Canadian Agencies (ICA) to return to the bargaining table.

The IATSE stands in solidarity with ACTRA.

On behalf of the Ontario Federation of Labour and the one million workers we represent – a community of which ACTRA members are a part of – we are standing shoulder to shoulder with you in your struggle to secure a fair and free collective agreement.

Your fight is our fight.

For over six months, you have shown tremendous strength and perseverance, fighting back against the ICA and its attempt to slash your pay, health benefits, retirement contributions, and workplace protections, and replace your labour with non-unionized workers.

You are part of a larger struggle that is happening across the province, country, and the globe. Workers – who bargained in good faith for the protections and provisions of their collective agreement – are fighting to raise the standard of decent work not only for themselves but for all workers, union and non-union alike.

It’s up to us, the workers, to decide what kind of world we want for our children and for future generations. No one but us is going to fight for it.

Thank you for taking on this fight. We are united in your call to the ICA to return to the bargaining table and reach a deal that will end this illegal lockout of 28,000 ACTRA members.

The labour movement and our allies stand in solidarity with you.

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) is writing to you on behalf of our more than 60,000 education workers with a message of solidarity. We applaud the Professional Performers working in English-language recorded media in Canada and recognize your united efforts to fight industry employers that disrespect workers and deny them their basic labour rights and protections. Your continued work and advocacy on behalf of gig workers, and courage in the face of adversity will make a difference to your more than 28,000 members and the millions of Canadians who enjoy the high-quality content that your members create.

In education, we face a similarly difficult situation with a Premier and government seeking to undermine the value of frontline education workers and teachers, who provide supports and services for millions of students every day in order for them to be successful and reach their full potential. The provincial government discounts the huge impacts that education workers and teachers have on the students they serve as well as Ontario’s communities and future prosperity, and similarly discount the importance of the arts and arts practitioners in this province. These attacks on workers cannot be ignored; workers around the globe must stand united in our efforts to preserve labour rights and to ensure the best for our members and the communities we serve.

We know the difficulty in taking on job action and a cut-driven, anti-union employer. We know the fight has been incredibly difficult for your members, lasting over six months, one of the longest labour disruptions in your union’s more than 80-year history. We know the sacrifices being made, all in the name of respecting the value that workers provide to our society. You should all be proud of the unity demonstrated in the face of these hardships.

As you continue to take to the picket lines, we send our strength and best wishes for a swift settlement in favour of ACTRA’s members and our support to gig workers everywhere. It is the strength of ACTRA that will make the difference in fighting threats to labour rights.

NABET 700-M UNIFOR stands in solidarity with ACTRA and its efforts to protect performers’ rights in the advertising industry. This fight is critical to secure fair wages and working conditions for commercial performers and is also paramount to all industry workers who rely on a collective agreement for fair pay, safe and respectful working conditions, and benefits.

ACTRA Members, stand strong and NABET 700-M UNIFOR stands with you!

To the members of ACTRA,

On behalf of our more than 160,000 members, SAG-AFTRA proudly stands in solidarity with ACTRA in their fight to protect the rights of Canadian artists.

There is nothing more imperative for workers, regardless of their trade, than securing equitable compensation and fair working conditions. These rights can only be achieved through inclusive, open, and respectful dialogue, with all parties agreeing to work together for the greatest good.

Locking union performers out of jobs and walking away from the bargaining table is an affront to the good-faith agreements and mutual respect that are hallmarks of healthy union negotiations, and they set a dangerous precedent that benefits no one.

We applaud ACTRA artists for their steadfast solidarity and strength during this time and we urge the Institute of Canadian Agencies to immediately reopen negotiations and work with ACTRA to come to an agreement on a fair contract. Honoring Canada’s collaborative arts legacy is essential to maintaining the merit and productivity of Canada’s creative industries.

TAMAC is an association of leading talent agents who represent Canadian performers in the film, television, digital and commercial industries.

If there is one thing we know, it is the fact that these are collaborative industries that run on partnership and trust.

That being the case, today we want to express the strongest possible support for performers — who have effectively been locked out, and have seen their work opportunities decimated.

There are important issues to discuss about the national commercial agreement. ACTRA is right to commit to modernize and streamline it.

We stand in solidarity with ACTRA, and we applaud the continued fight to defend Canadian performers' livelihood, fair wages, and safe working conditions.

We would like to see all parties return to the bargaining table to see this modernization through, but until that happens we call on all ACTRA members to stand strong.

We stand strong with you.

TYRLC was on the streets with ACTRA Toronto on Monday, July 11th, demanding respect for performers and ending the unlawful lockout of its members. Throughout almost a year of negotiations to renew the National Commercial Agreement (NCA), the Institute of Canadian Agencies (ICA) and a group of large Canadian advertising agencies persistently tried to gut ACTRA’s collective agreement by cutting the pay, health benefits and retirement contributions, and workplace protections for ACTRA’s members and looking for ways to go non-union for their commercials.

We call on our labour community to stand in solidarity with Canadian artists in their efforts to secure fair and equitable wages, better working conditions and bring the benefits back to ACTRA members. Please make their voice viral by sharing ACTRA videos on your social media.

The United Steelworkers union (USW) supports ACTRA performers and staff who are working hard to maintain stability and fairness in the advertising industry and fighting for fair wages and working conditions for performers in commercials.

During a year of negotiations, the Institute of Canadian Agencies (ICA) including numerous well-known advertising firms, tried to cut pay, health benefits, retirement contributions and workplace protections for performers in commercials.

The illegal lockout and union busting by the ICA is a bad look for advertisers and the whole sector. Ads shot with non-union talent look cheap. It’s not only disrespectful, it’s unprofessional, and it shows.

ACTRA worked hard during the pandemic to keep performers safe and cameras rolling during the pandemic. Now it’s time for the ICA to recognize that dedication to professionalism with a decent contract for performers and respect for the union.

The USW supports ACTRA performers and ACTRA staff, who are proud USW members, in this fight for fairness. Solidarity.