Egypt.. union intervention to guarantee the rights of workers in artistic production

Egypt.. union intervention to guarantee the rights of workers in artistic production
Egypt.. union intervention to guarantee the rights of workers in artistic production

The Syndicate of Representative Professions in Egypt decided to unify the number of working hours for its members in artistic works to be 12 hours per day, after filming continued in the movie “Harley” by the artist, Mohamed Ramadan, for more than 50 continuous hours.

The syndicate published a statement, on Thursday evening, in which it said that the decision came “to preserve the Egyptian soft powers,” at a time when the matter reached the continuation of filming in one of the artworks to 52 hours.

According to elements of the artwork industry in Egypt, whether films or series, sometimes the makers decide to continue filming for long hours before Ramadan and holidays, in order to finish the work and catch up with the show date, without the artists and assistants even getting the appropriate compensation. .

Some considered it a late decision that protects the members of the industry and preserves their moral and material rights, and represents a challenge to the union in implementing it.

the crisis

On Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, competition is fierce for showing cinematic films, while Ramadan is the most prominent time when producers and actors compete to show their series.

In order to catch up with the Eid al-Fitr season last April, those responsible for the movie “Harley” decided to continue filming for more than 50 hours, hoping to finish the work quickly and put it in theaters.

The director of the Harley film, Mohamed Samir, defended himself in the filming incident, and said in statements to “Cairo 24” that they had to do so in order to finish the film, adding, “We were closing the film and we had to stay this period because the filming location was linked to other dates and reservations, And the next day, we were associated with filming outdoor scenes, and due to the bad weather, we continued filming interior scenes on site to finish them, and postponed filming outside for another day.

He added that none of the actors worked for 53 hours except for the basic elements such as Muhammad Ramadan, the actress, Mai Omar, the director of photography and the director, while the rest of the work team rotated every 13 hours.

And Harley, starring Mohamed Ramadan, Mai Omar, Mahmoud Hamida and Ahmed Dash, and written by Mohamed Sami and directed by Mohamed Samir.

late decision

Two workers in the art industry in Egypt said that the decision comes “after working for about 18 and 20 hours has become normal” in filming series and films in Egypt, at a time when many workers in the industry are calling for “the provision of the least material and moral rights for them.” .

The art critic, Tariq Al-Shennawi, believes that the decision of the Syndicate of Representative Professions is “long overdue” and should be expanded to include other unions such as musicians, for example.

He told Al-Hurra that unions all over the world “protect their members even from their weakness. Working hours are supposed to be 8 and a maximum of 12, and this has to do with human nature because his giving decreases and is affected with the passage of time.”

An assistant director, who works in making soap operas, told Al-Hurra TV, “If he worked 14 hours of filming a day, he could say at that time that he finished his work early.”

The young man in his thirties added that the matter has become usual throughout the year in Egypt, where he works for more than 18 hours of filming per day, adding that in the periods before Ramadan and holidays, the matter can reach two consecutive days in order to finish filming.

Another girl who works as an assistant director confirmed his speech, and said that she worked sometimes for a day and a half and only got one day’s salary, which is normally 8 hours, but that does not happen every day, as “the shortest order of filming is 12 hours.”

The two spokesmen preferred not to reveal their identities, fearing that they might be harmed at work.

In this regard, Al-Shennawy said that the Syndicate’s decision “must be followed by other decisions,” such as working to provide a minimum wage for all members of the industry, whether a main actor, assistant, writer, or others, so that the actor does not have to accept low wages or work hours. long for his desire to preserve his work and its continuity.

“This is the artist’s biggest problem,” Al-Shennawy asserted. “In front of the needy, he gives up and works for 18 and 20 hours… There must be identification and documentation of everything, and this is an essential role for the unions, and they are able to implement it if they wish.”

The assistant director said, “Everyone in the field is looking for human treatment,” as is happening in the whole world. “They are looking for medical insurance and specific working hours,” adding that he is “not sure about the possibility of implementing the decision of the Syndicate of Representative Professions,” and considered it “a great challenge that will appear in the coming days.” whether or not it is successful.”