VOICEOVER actors in Madrid have called a strike – a move which could seriously affect prime-time TV viewing for many Spaniards who are addicted to US drama and comedy serials.
One of these already expected to suffer is The Big Bang Theory (pictured), a cult show in Spain which has viewers glued to their sets, but which they could end up missing several episodes of if it cannot be broadcast dubbed into Spanish.
Unions representing the workers of around 12 firms and 400 workers – of whom 99% are expected to join in the series of strikes – says the main holding company has been failing to stick to the contract terms of their collective working conditions agreement.
They are calling for overtime payments to be made at last, holiday entitlement and end-of-contract redundancy pay to be brought up to date.
Voiceover artists work on an ad hoc basis, with job contracts lasting days or even hours, meaning they are not full-time, permanent employees of their firms but are called in, for example, to dub one episode of a series at a time.
Their job terms are covered by an agreement signed eight years ago between unions and industry bosses, and which has never been updated.
Over 16 meetings have been held between employee representatives and the main umbrella firm since the end of February, with no significant steps forward and the management 'constantly stalling for time', say unions ADOMA (Madrid Dubbing Artists), Locumad, the general workers' union (UGT) and the labourers' commission (CCOO).
Strikes started on Tuesday and will continue today, then again on Wednesday, March 22; Friday, March 24; Monday, March 27; Wednesday, March 29, and Friday, March 31.