Human Rights and the Making of a Bad Sequel
Keywords:independent contractors, freedom of association, film industry, strikes
In 2010 the National Party-led government did a deal to keep the filming of The Hobbit in New Zealand. The deal involved amending the Employment Relations Act 2000 to exclude film workers from the definition of ‘employee’, and thus also from the protections of employment law. The amendment was rushed through under urgency, and protests and international criticism ensued. Ten years later, the Labour government is considering the Screen Industry Workers Bill. Rather than restoring employment rights to the workers in the film industry, it introduces a dangerous new precedent and continues to trade off human rights against commercial convenience.
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