Commercial broadcasting

Globalisation is impacting on the structure of commercial broadcasting: multinational ownership structures are evolving in markets, which were limited by their national scope. Mergers and acquisitions as well as breaking up of whole companies trigger a permanent restructuring process. Organising and defending of freedom of association are the key priorities for UNI-MEI affiliates.

UNI-MEI is concerned with the increasing concentration of ownership in commercial television and has launched several initiatives on national and international level to defend the diversity of commercial broadcasting. In Europe, UNI-MEI affiliates work together inside the multinational companies such as RTL and Vivendi Universal through European Works Councils. 

The main objectives of UNI-MEI in this sector are: 

- Develop regulations, which guarantee pluralism through measures aimed at preventing oligopolistic concentration of the media and favouring the independence of communications and information.

- Ensure that employers respect the right to organise in commercial television across Europe.

- Encourage organising campaigns in the private television sector.

- Develop specific policies and actions to counteract the adverse effects resulting from casualisation and multiskilling.

- Develop the social dialogue at the European level, both within the enterprise and at sectoral dimension, where possible

Public broadcasting

Public service broadcasting workers in UNI-MEI are unionised in 83 unions in 60 countries worldwide. They are very active in a number of areas: employment, legislation, competition and media concentration, independence of public service broadcasting, and funding for quality programming. UNI-MEI’ s concern in supporting public service broadcasting goes beyond a proper defence of jobs and salaries, which have been hit by a wave of casualisation and an overall downgrading of social conditions.

UNI-MEI defends public service broadcasting as a vital ingredient of democracy, as a factor of social integration committed to provide a service of quality, diversity and objectivity to the general public, which it seeks to inform, educate and entertain.
We invite you to join in a wide range of activities, seminars and conferences all around the world through which UNI-MEI’s public services broadcasting workers campaign together for the defence of the quality and diversity of public service broadcasting and better working conditions.


The director is a primary author of the creation of an audiovisual work. The protection of authors’ rights is the most important issue of UNI-MEI’s directors’ unions and guilds around the world. Thus UNI-MEI is very active at the European and at WIPO level to influence legislation on intellectual property in order to protect the interest of directors.

UNI-MEI is also seeking to facilitate the co-operation between unions and guilds on the one hand and collecting societies on the other hand. It is important that collecting societies respect and ensure the democratic participation of creators’ unions and guilds, without engaging in monopolistic practices, but rather, effectively supporting the activities of such organizations.

UNI-MEI is campaigning for the right of directors to organise everywhere to bargain collectively. At the UNI-MEI General Assembly in Los Angeles, October 2003 UNI-MEI members agreed that the organisation provides member unions and associations know how to negotiate collective agreements with international production companies.

These agreements need to ensure minimum terms and conditions covering audiovisual authors’ creative and economic rights and acknowledge the unwaivable right for creators to obtain a remuneration in proportion to the revenues generated by the exploitation of the work on any form of reuse.

Film and TV Production

UNI-MEI’s film and TV production group brings together film workers from all over the world. Our affiliates cover all the crafts involved in the production of theatrical, motion picture or television products. They are involved in every phase of a production, from its conception through every aspect of its execution. Technological change is one of the biggest challenge film and TV production workers are facing today and to which they need to adapt rapidly.

UNI-MEI affiliates work together for the improvement working conditions in an industry, which is undergoing a profound restructuring process, characterised by concentration and internationalisation.

UNI-MEI has been active in organising a series of seminars and conferences to bring film and TV production workers together in order to exchange experience on production standards, working conditions and organising. UNI-MEI campaign for minimum standards in production and encourage the cooperation of unions in co-productions.

UNI-MEI is establishing European and international dialogue structures with film producers’ associations and multinationals in the entertainment industry to enhance international industrial relations in this sector.

Live Performance

Technicians, creators and artists in the live performance sector are working under unsteady and insecure conditions. The majority is employed on the basis of short-term contracts, wages and salaries are lower than those in the other industry sectors in contrast to the high status of theatre. The workings hours are concentrated on evenings and week ends without adequate financial compensation.

Those employed on short-term contracts often have no access to pension schemes and social security. UNI-MEI seeks to improve the working conditions for all the workers in the live performance sector, to improve the protection workers employed under a short-term contract and to ensure that all workers regardless their legal status have access to pension schemes and social security provisions.

In theatres large sums of money are spent on new equipment and modern technology. At the same time there is little investment and a lack of knowledge and standards regarding health and safety measures in theatre. Working on stage remains dangerous, in particular small theatres. Technicians often have to cope with low or varying standards in training or no training at all. UNI-MEI campaigns to ensure that provisions on health and safety become part of contracts and collective agreements providing for minimum standards.

In Europe EURO-MEI affiliates are working together with FIA and FIM and formed a social dialogue committee with PEARLE*, the European federation of employers in the live performance sector. The committee is meeting regularly to discuss social and employment issues at EU level and is carrying out joint projects.


A growing number of writers’ unions and guilds in all regions are affiliated with UNI. Protecting the creativity is the most important task of writers’ organisation in order to safeguard the basis for the writers’ remuneration and creative freedom. Thus, the protection of authors’ rights is at the centre of UNI-MEI’s writers’ group policy. UNI-MEI is active at the European and at WIPO level to influence legislation on intellectual property in order to protect the interest of writers around the world.

The regulation of the audiovisual markets is a major concern to writers: the growing concentration of ownership in the audiovisual industry in particular is a threat to creativity and has a negative impact on writers’ job opportunities. UNI-MEI and its affiliates are taking actions at national and international level aiming at reinforcing ownership rules in the media to protect creativity. UNI-MEI’s writers group is also concerned with a wide range of issues, which are common to al freelance and independent workers such as social security, integration into pension schemes, legal status, management of rights and taxation regimes.