Film workers, represented by a breakaway union, say top producers Morgan O’Sullivan and the late James Flynn committed systematic labor law violations and sought to “deprive them of their hard-earned wages”.
“They are morally bankrupt,” a workers’ union representative told the Workplace Relations Commission today.
The Irish Film Workers’ Association (IFWA) says its campaign against “systematic blacklisting” in the Irish film industry has resulted in 39 of its members losing their jobs at Metropolitan Film Productions Ltd and World 2000 Entertainment Ltd. the late Mr. Flynn were the “Chief Directors”.
The respondent companies say that a series of designated activity companies and special vehicles set up for tax relief on film and TV productions in Ireland, including Vikings on Amazon Prime and ‘Into the Badlands’ on AMC, were in no way a circumvention. of labor rights”.
Ibec representatives appearing before the manufacturing companies say they have never employed union members and the workers have no right to make claims.
At a hearing Monday, IFWA representative Liz Murray said representatives from the two companies signed a collective agreement with its members in 2015.
In it, the union said, they agreed to accept a 12.5% pay cut and report to Ashford Studios in Co Wicklow as their regular place of work – waiving travel allowances worth €300 a week – so that Mr. Flynn could “go to America and pitch for work”.
IFWA store steward John Arkins said the deal was for workers to take a 2.5% cut in profits and the pay cut to be reinstated gradually – but that the companies backed out “unilaterally”.
He said he attended a meeting at the Grand Canal Hotel in 2012 as a Siptu store steward along with representatives from the construction unions OPATSI and BATU where the deal was proposed by Mr O’Sullivan and Mr Flynn.
He said these would be written into the “Vikings Agreement” in 2015, with Mr Flynn signing on for Metropolitan and an executive producer signing on on Mr O’Sullivan’s World 2000.
Ms Murray said her members “kept true to their word” and worked under those terms – but had problems with on-set conditions, including the use of fixed-term contracts, a “toxic” atmosphere on sets and alleged black list.
On the defense, Ibec representatives appearing for Metropolitan Films and World 2000 said the companies never hired the men — arguing that they had only worked for a series of designated activity companies set up for each film production that held the director positions. have shared.
The Workplace Relations Commission rejected jurisdiction in sample complaints in five initial test cases last year – but has dealt with the rest since January, following appeals to the Labor Court and Supreme Court judicial review proceedings by the trade unions.