Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Hobbit Enabling Bill

The government has finally released the text of the Hobbit Enabling Bill (AKA the Employment Relations (Film Production Work) Amendment Bill). Its a short bill, and it basically exempts any "person engaged in film production work" from the factual test of employment status. Meaning that if their employer says they are an independent contractor, then that settles the matter, and no challenge shall be entered into, even when it is patently bullshit. So, what's "film production work"? Well, for a start, it includes video games - so the entire computer games industry in NZ will be effectively excluded from basic employment protections. Secondly, it includes not just actors, stunt doubles, voiceover artists etc, but also anyone engaged in any capacity at any stage of the process, from pre-production to post-production, plus promotion and marketing, whether on off the set. So, not just the Weta Orcs (who are already virtual slaves under Peter Jackson's anti-union regime), but everyone even vaguely connected with the movie. All of these people will be stripped of basic employment protections, including the minimum wage, annual leave and holidays, sick leave, protection from discrimination, and protection from unfair dismissal.

So, that's the cost of The Hobbit: the entire film and video game industry gets to be slaves. I hope all you people at Weta are happy with yourselves, arseholes.