director's chair and clapperboard

SAG-AFTRA and WGA industrial action

Support and guidance for Bectu members.
Bectu Lights Camera No Action poster

Download the poster here

Bectu stands firmly with SAG-AFTRA and WGA East and West. This is a fight with many of the same employers who frequently undervalue crew in the UK, and therefore our solidarity with US actors and writers is important for raising standards domestically and globally. You can read more on the SAG-AFTRA website here and on the WGA website here.

However, many Bectu members know only too well the knock-on effects of the US dispute and are justifiably worried about their future. These concerns are compounding what has already been a very challenging period for film and TV workers in the UK.

Bectu remains committed to ensuring that the film and TV sector, and those who work in it, continue to thrive, and that includes taking a stand against unacceptable terms and conditions either in the UK or with our colleagues abroad. Read our latest statement here.

Have your employment circumstances changed?

If your employment has been impacted by the SAG-AFTRA and/or WGA disputes, please get in touch with our membership team to discuss. You can email [email protected] or call 0300 600 1878 8.30am-6pm, Monday-Friday.

Need support? Explore what help is available below

We are in discussions with employers, broadcasters and streamers on the need to better support freelancers through this incredibly tough time. We are pleased to see some broadcasters and streamers responding to Bectu’s calls for the industry to step up and support hardworking crew.

Collaboration is critical to better protect freelancers from precarious employment and we will continue to push for further commitments. We will keep this page updated as further announcements are made.

The Prospect benevolent fund

Are you facing financial distress? You can apply for a grant from our parent union Prospect to cover your critical expenses.
Download an application form

Get help with your tax

If you’re finding it difficult to make a tax payment, you can get help to make a Time to Pay arrangement with HMRC.
Get help from HMRC

Financial support

The Film and TV Charity have announced an extra £0.5 million to help UK film, TV, and cinema workers. You can read more here. Find out more about what financial support is available here and here.

Learning and wellbeing

The BBC and Channel 4 are launching a new online programme to support the freelance community, delivered in partnership with the National Film and Television School. The free programme will include masterclasses, workshops, training and wellbeing sessions for the UK’s scripted and unscripted freelance production community. Read more here. We will keep you updated as further details are released.

Mental health support

Anyone dealing with financial worries, debt or who is experiencing mental health concerns can contact the charity’s free 24/7 Film and TV Support Line.

Lights, Camera, No Action Rally

On Thursday 5 October Bectu members came together for a rally to call on AMPTP to negotiate for a swift and fair resolution. Want to support the campaign? You can download social media graphics and a poster here, just make sure to tag us in your social posts. See the photos from the rally.

Bectu rally photo

Bectu member Pia addressing the rally.

Bectu rally photo

Bectu members lined up behind the banner at the Lights, Camera, No Action rally

Bectu dogs at the rally

We even had some furry friends join us at the rally to show solidarity with SAG-AFTRA

Bectu in the media

Much of the rhetoric surrounding the SAG-AFTRA dispute is about the actors, but the impact on crew is severe and cannot be underestimated.   Bectu has been speaking with national, trade and international press about the impact of the strikes on UK crew. Find out more below.


Head of Bectu Philippa Childs speaking at Equity Union’s SAG-AFTRA solidarity demonstration in London in July.


Text graphic saying - Show your solidarity on social media

If would like to show your support for the strikes on social media, you can check out the SAG-AFTRA social media toolkit hereor the WGA toolkit here.


Bectu joined the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, writers and other workers around the world for ‘Screenwriters Everywhere’, a Global day of Solidarity and action on Wednesday 14 June.

Guidance on ‘force majeure’ and contracts

We are aware that some productions are invoking ‘force majeure’ provisions, and using this to seek to justify suspending productions that are impacted by the US strike action.

What is ‘force majeure’ and what does it allow for?

Force majeure events are usually stipulated by a contract as being unpredictable events that fall into natural incidents like earthquakes, floods or fires, and human-created incidents like conflicts, invasions or strikes.

A force majeure clause in a contract usually provides that, where an extraordinary event occurs that is outside a party’s control, the obligations and liabilities under the contract can be varied, either by allowing a short delay in performance, for the affected party to not perform the contract at all and, in some instances, allowing the party to terminate the contract.

There is no single legal definition of ‘force majeure’. A contract may specify a list of uncontrollable incidents or circumstances that would prevent the contract being performed, or simply provide that any event beyond a party’s control will amount to force majeure.

Usually, a force majeure clause in a contract will only relieve the affected party of its obligations where performance of its obligations is imposed, or it is unable to perform the contract rather than simply being hindered or delayed. In addition, the events must be the sole reason, and not one of many reasons, as to why the contact cannot be performed.

Does strike action qualify as ‘force majeure’?

Strike action may be considered a force majeure event if it is beyond the affected party’s control, the affected party has taken reasonable steps to avoid it and it is the only reason the contract cannot be performed (plus, the affected party must be willing to perform the contract in the absence of the force majeure event).

Bectu has sought legal advice on the application of force majeure on productions in the UK affected by the current US strike action. In accordance with the law, producers can invoke the force majeure provisions to cover strike action, even when this action emanates in another country. If you work on a production where force majeure has been invoked and have questions, you can contact [email protected] for advice.

The more members we have, the stronger our influence. Be part of the change. Join Bectu