Cannes Film Festival workers call for strike ahead of opening

Workers at the Cannes Film Festival in France have called for a strike over pay and conditions on Monday, just a week before the international event is due to start.

Members of a collective called Sous les Ecrans la Dèche (Broke Behind the Screens) said they did not intend to cause significant disruption but wanted to draw attention to long-running demands.

"The strike will not put the opening of the festival at risk but there could be disruptions as it goes on," a spokesperson told French news agency AFP.

The group said it represented around 100 workers, including projectionists, programmers, press agents and ticket sellers.

They work on short-term contracts but do not fall under France's unemployment insurance scheme for freelance artists and technicians in the cultural sector, which tops up salaries to a minimum wage.

"Most of us will have to give up working, which will jeopardise the events," the group said in a statement.

"The latest reforms of unemployment benefits in France and the one scheduled for 1 July of this year, which will be passed by decree, are further hardening the benefit rules for employment seekers," the collective wrote.

Long-running demands

"The forthcoming opening of the Cannes Film Festival has a bitter taste for us this year," it added.

The festival organisers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(with AFP)

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