Playwrights, both in America and Sweden, argue they deserve to be better paid. They claim they receive too little when their work is distributed via new media such as DVDs, mobile phones and the internet.
In a statement on Thursday, the Swedish Union of Playwrights expressed full support for The Writers Guild of America and urged fellow unions in Scandinavia to do the same.
“It’s the same battle both here and in the USA – it’s about the rights of writers to receive payment for the use of their manuscripts, no matter which media their work is presented in”, said Rolf Börjlind, chairman of the Swedish Union of Playwrights.
Since the beginning of this week, Swedish playwrights do not have a collective agreement with many of the country’s independent production companies, including TV4 and Kanal 5, according to the release.
The Union blames the failure to sign a new collective agreement on producers’ unwillingness to endorse a negotiation base that enables fair royalty payments to the writers.
Susin Lindblom, of The Swedish Union of Playwrights, told Svenska Dagbladet that there was not yet a risk of a strike, but that negotiations had come to a standstill. The writers are growing impatient, she said.
Swedish writers want an updated collective agreement, in which the guidelines for the compensation are clear, Lindblom told Svenska Dagbladet.