About the project

“Future of Collective Bargaining and Atypical Work in the Media, Arts and Entertainment Sector”

This blog is an initiative of the trade union federations in the Media, Arts and Entertainment sector, who are the European social partners representing workers in the sector across Europe and beyond. It is a sector where “atypical workers” are a significant part of the picture in the labour market. Production and project-based working, as well as the wide range and diversity of workers involved in a given project, mean that multiple, short-term contracts and a variety of employment statuses are a common aspect of working in the sector. The concept of “atypical workers” includes workers who are not hired in a conventional way with a labour law contract, but under civil or commercial law, as well as those working on short-term and part-time contractual arrangements, whether an employment or service-provision contract. Depending on the national context, this includes different types of workers, such as self-employed own-account workers (without employees), workers hired under authors’ contracts, etc. These workers remain a vital part of the workforce in the sector and are highly flexible and highly skilled. Yet too often they remain vulnerable and inadequately covered by the protections offered to workers by labour law and conditions negotiated collectively. For trade unions they are a core, but sometimes hard to reach, group.  

In recent years, we have developed an ongoing reflection in the framework of our joint project work on how trade unions may meaningfully represent this workforce and uphold their labour rights. Discussions with legal experts have touched upon themes like freedom of association for all workers, including atypical workers; the impact of competition law on collective bargaining on behalf of atypical workers; the potential role of competition law in addressing power imbalances in the sectoral labour market; an inclusive definition of worker to capture new forms of work, etc. This blog will is intended to as a forum to capture reflections on these topics and bring together ideas and legal thinking relevant to the labour representation of the workers in our sector. 

We are grateful to the contributors for their thought-provoking blog entries. We also thank our illustrator Kiefer for the hard work in bringing the ideas to life in his drawings.    

We have developed this blog with the financial support of the European Commission. The content of this blog does not reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Responsibility for the information and views expressed herein lies entirely with the authors. Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged. 

European Union This project and publication have received the support of the European Union. The publication reflects the views of the authors only and the European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use of the information contained therein.