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Cannes Film Festival Workers going on strike over pay

The organization Sous les écrans la dèche, which represents freelance festival workers, is planning a strike during the upcoming Cannes Film Festival in protest against an impending labor reform.

This reform is expected to drastically reduce their unemployment benefits by more than half. Comprising hundreds of workers ranging from projectionists to drivers and caterers, the organization's members threaten to disrupt the Cannes event if their demands are not met.

France operates a distinctive system where freelance workers in the film and TV sectors can receive unemployment benefits based on the number of hours worked in a year. Jean-Charles Canu, a notable figure within Cannes' Directors Fortnight and a key member of Sous les écrans de la dèche, revealed concerns regarding the French government's plan to slash indemnities and potentially raise the threshold for accessing benefits. Canu fears that these changes could force approximately 80% of festival workers to seek alternative employment due to financial strain.

Sous les écrans la dèche advocates for part-time festival workers to receive benefits comparable to those enjoyed by other intermittent workers in the cultural sphere, such as those in theater. These workers, termed "intermittents du spectacle," receive more substantial unemployment benefits. The organization's demands highlight disparities in the treatment of workers within the entertainment industry and seek to address financial insecurity among freelance festival staff.


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