SAG-AFTRA Logo with text that reads "Solidarity with" above it

ACTRA is standing in solidarity with our sibling members at SAG-AFTRA as they begin contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers this week.

Read the official letter sent by ACTRA National President Eleanor Noble to SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher this week, pledging ACTRA’s ongoing support of their union.

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May 5, 2023 – The following is a joint statement from ACTRA and the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA):

“ACTRA and the Association of Canadian Advertisers met this week to negotiate a renewal of the National Commercial Agreement. Bargaining will continue next week.”

In the meantime, a delegation of ACTRA members will be taking the boycott of “Union Busting Brands” to the Canadian Labour Congress Convention next week in Montreal. ACTRA will continue promoting the boycott to other labour unions across Canada. Union members are demanding the brands stop using advertising agencies that have locked out ACTRA performers.

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As we pass the one-year mark of being unfairly and illegally locked out by advertising agencies, we want to send solidarity to our siblings in the Writers Guild of America as they are engaged in bargaining with a strike deadline of May 2nd.

We are concerned that misinformation being shared on social media could interfere with our ability to negotiate an end to the lockout and caution members to only rely on information that comes directly from ACTRA.

We have some updates to share:

  • As noted on Wednesday April 26, ACTRA will resume in-person negotiations with the ACA May 2-5 in Toronto.
  • On April 10 we notified ACTRA members that Cossette signed a letter of continuance. That letter adheres to the terms of the 2017-2020 NCA, including Article 106, Extraordinary Circumstances (EC). Article 106 provides the ability, as needed to address commercials that require special consideration and is an organizing tool ACTRA has at its disposal to try to bring commercials under the ACTRA banner.
    • A few of you have been inquiring about ECs and what those mean. In a recent EC, ACTRA Toronto staff were able to bring a non-union commercial into our jurisdiction by providing non-precedent setting and a one time only, changes to the engager.
    • Extraordinary circumstance clauses help to promote a collaborative and cooperative relationship between ACTRA and an engager that was planning for months on using non-union performers. By allowing controlled and carefully considered flexibility in exceptional situations, ACTRA Toronto was able to work   to find solutions that will get members back to work sooner.
  • As we transition back to work and continue to organize non-union commercials, and as we welcome some agencies who have been shooting non-union back, we expect we may see additional EC requests that will be cautiously studied by staff.
  • We continue with our Boycott of Union Busting Brands. If you haven’t already, please add your name to the letter writing campaign.
  • Please like and share our posts and videos on InstagramTwitterFacebook and TikTok.
  • There is an in-person info-picket in Toronto on April 29, 2023. We welcome any Toronto members who can attend. Register here:
    • When: Saturday April 29, 2023 – 11am-1pm
    • Where: in front of H&R Block at the St. Lawrence Market (5 Market Street)

ACTRA’s National Council continues to stand in solidarity with PSAC as their strike continues across Canada and will oppose any back to work legislation. We understand that Canadian #WorkersCantWait.

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Watch as ACTRA’s Boycott of Union Busting Brands gains more support as performers continue picketing outside H&R Block, telling consumers to take their business elsewhere. As we near the one year mark of this shameful lockout, unionized workers across Canada are supporting the boycott which also includes Rogers, Wendy’s, Canadian Tire, Home Hardware and Sleep Country. Join the boycott HERE

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Dear ACTRA Members, 

Thank you for your attendance and participation in the recent Town Hall and your activism on the NCA lock-out. You are making a difference. Your support of your National Council’s strategy and respect for confidentiality in the bargaining process has led to Cossette signing a Letter of Continuance so they can work with ACTRA members again. As a major agency in Canada and ICA member, we welcome this step and look forward to others doing the same. 

We rely on and deeply appreciate the engagement of members in this struggle. We know it has been difficult for members over the last year, particularly when we have been at the bargaining table, and communications have been restricted. This continues to be the most challenging fight the union has ever faced. 

The National Council is fully committed to the NCA strategy and action plan adopted last summer. Bargaining is the most important work of the union and making gains depends on building the strength and solidarity of the membership. ACTRA’s National Council will do whatever it takes to end the unlawful lockout and bargain the best for members.

The ACTRA National Council unequivocally supports the NCA bargaining team, which includes members with experience and expertise in the commercial sector, who have been tirelessly representing members at the negotiating table.

To continue the support of all members, National Council will appoint an ad hoc assembly of ACTRA members who are directly affected by the unlawful lock-out with the mandate to:

  • support and inform direct action to demonstrate leverage in negotiations
  • assist and organize member and ally mobilization
  • provide general membership advice on the ICA lockout

The National Council will maintain pressure on Brands through boycott and government lobbying.

The National Council will negotiate a new, simplified, and modern National Commercial Agreement with Canadian advertisers and agencies who commit to a value-added competitive commercial jurisdiction.

The National Council will provide clear communication to membership on the start and end period of any communication embargo necessitated by negotiations. 

The National Council will continue to provide regular updates to ACTRA members, agents, and industry partners.

The National Council will look to establish a Bargaining Task Force to review bargaining models and to hold a bargaining conference ahead of future negotiations.

This work will continue alongside all of the actions taken to date which include:

  • complaint of bad faith bargaining with the Ontario Labour Relations Board
  • filing of over 300 grievances against Engagers who have locked out ACTRA members
  • geo-targeted Facebook ads promoting our campaigns, reaching 194,000 Canadians so far 
  • lobbying Federal and Provincial governments to not engage in non-union commercials during the lockout
  • calling for a boycott of brands using locking-out Engagers
  • online letter campaign pledging boycott to Brand and Agency CEO’s
  • obtaining support of ACTRA members to establish a Council of Unions to organize in the commercial sector
  • amending the ACTRA By-laws to encourage non-members on permit to join
  • organizing rallies in front of advertising agency offices
  • launching of a petition with Labour Start
  • gathering letters of support from labour affiliates in Canada and through the International Federation of Actors
  • hosting Town Halls with members and Agents
  • sending emails, social media notices and updates to members
  • getting several news articles published by various media outlets 
  • bargaining preparations for a simplified and modern commercial agreement as agreed with the ACA

Here’s what you can do right now to help. Add your name to this letter writing campaign to pledge to boycott six Union Busting Brands and send a message to the CEO’s of the agencies locking out ACTRA members. 

ACTRA was founded by working performers who recognized that individually performers are at the mercy of the engagers but when we stick together, we make things better. 

Thank you again for your support.

In Solidarity,
ACTRA National Council

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