Campaigns for Fairness, Safety, and Inclusivity
How Bectu Supports Workers in the Entertainment Industry
Bectu is a union that represents workers in the entertainment and broadcasting industry who work in non-performing roles such as live events, broadcasting, film and cinema, digital media, independent production, leisure, IT and telecoms, theatre and the arts. Bectu is committed to ensuring that its members are treated fairly and has been involved in a series of ongoing campaigns to make the entertainment industry more fulfilling and rewarding for its workers.
Bectu provides a safety net for technicians and other non-performing workers on artistic productions who can be vulnerable to exploitation, bullying and poor working conditions. Bectu also campaigns to make the creative workplace more tolerant and inclusive, ensure that minimum rates, reasonable working hours, facilities and health and safety improvements are provided in the live events sector, encourage diversity in the workforce and tackle bullying. The union is also involved in campaigns to reduce the number of hours worked by technicians and make the entertainment industry more eco-friendly.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Bectu was part of the One Voice Campaign, which lobbied the government to open up theatres and provided an action plan regarding safe seating, distancing, hygiene and tackling airborne spread. The campaign also asked for financial help for the mainly freelance workforce who kept the entertainment industry going. Although initially faced with challenges, the campaign eventually succeeded and productions started opening up again.
Bectu uses the strength of many workers to balance and challenge the financial clout of the industry. It raises money from membership subscriptions and other fundraising activities, which is used to organize itself, pay legal fees and offer financial support to members who need it. Bectu can also launch legal action or, in extreme cases, ask its members to withdraw their labour in a strike to resolve disputes with employers.