Danish TV series accused of not paying Czech workers fairly

The most expensive TV series in Danish history is paying foreign production workers less than Danes

Producers of the upcoming Danish drama series, '1864', which chronicles the Danish defeat by the Prussians at Dybbøl, have been accused of 'social dumping' by paying foreign employees working on the production less than Danes. 

A host of Danish A-list actors appear in the series, which at a current price of 170 million kroner is the most expensive production in Danish TV history. The programme is being shot in several locations in Denmark and the Czech Republic. The workers hired in the Czech Republic, who also work on the production in Denmark, are not being paid the same as their Danish counterparts.

“There are nine Czech crew members on the production and they do not work under a Danish collective bargaining agreement because they are employed directly by a Czech co-producer,” Peter Bose, a partner at Miso Film and Production, the company producing the series for DR, told the TV2 programme Kulturen på News.

Mogens Jensen, the culture spokesperson for Socialdemokraterne, is not happy with the situation.

“This is obviously not acceptable,” he told Kulturen på News. “Social dumping is unacceptable on construction sites or among drivers, and of course it should be seen the same in the film industry.”

Jensen said that the production company has the responsibility to make sure that everyone on the production is working under the same conditions.

“Otherwise DR has to ensure that the contracts involving its projects – which are publicly-funded – must include a clause guaranteeing that foreign workers are working under the same conditions as Danes.

The labour confederation LO, which represents 18 different labour unions, said that more than just the letter of the law has to be examined, and they have a meeting scheduled with Miso for next week.

“Even if the meeting shows that Miso Films have not technically violated any laws, it doesn’t change the fact that that people working in Denmark work on equal terms in all industries,” LO spokesperson Lizette Risgaard said.

Risgaard said LO would examine existing contracts to try and close any loopholes.

The film and television workers union FAF is also checking to make sure that the programme is in compliance with rules regarding social dumping.