Canada: End the Actors Lockout!

In partnership with ACTRA and ACTRA Toronto. ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is the national union of over 28,000 professional performers working in English-language recorded media in Canada, including TV, film, radio, and digital media. We are actors, recording artists, comedians, announcers, stunt co-ordinators and performers, dancers, narrators, voice performers, hosts, choreographers, models, singers, background performers, puppeteers and more. There are 9 branches of ACTRA across Canada, and ACTRA Toronto is the largest with 15,000 of the 28,000 members in the country.

ACTRA is currently embroiled in a crucial labour dispute with the Institute of Canadian Agencies (ICA), and the rights of Canadian performers who act in commercials are at stake.

For more than 60 years, these performers have had the protection of a collective agreement known as the National Commercial Agreement. It is a gold standard for gig workers, providing living wages, benefits, and pensions. The ICA was one of its partners.

Throughout almost a year of negotiations to renew the NCA, the 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.
After imposing a lockout deadline of April 26, 2022, the ICA declared the agreement expired and unlawfully locked out ACTRA’s 28,000 members from the workplace.

This illegal lockout is an attack on gig workers, who are already the smallest part of any commercial production budget. Performers make up less than 2% of the cost to produce a commercial, and the member agencies of the Institute of Canadian Agencies are trying to ensure
our members are paid less and have less access to insurance and retirement benefits. These are shameful and aggressive actions that need to stop.

These ad agencies have clients that include:

• Government of Canada
• Government of Ontario
• Canadian Tire
• Google
• McDonald’s
• Walmart
And many more.

Canada and the U.S. are the only countries in the world that have a commercial agreement for performers, so ACTRA is fighting to protect the jurisdiction and ensure stability for future generations of performers.

ACTRA needs your help! We are asking you to stand in solidarity with ACTRA as we demand an end to the lockout. We’re calling out the ICA for trying to bust our union and for threatening the livelihoods of ACTRA performers who work in commercials.

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