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Creative class politics: unions and the creative economy
journal contributionposted on 2016-01-01, 00:00 authored by Amanda ColesAmanda Coles
This article examines how cultural workers participate in the construction and contestation of the creative economy at the policy level. An analysis of the role unions play in the film and television industry association FilmOntario demonstrates the paradox that the creative economy, as an economic development strategy, presents to the cultural workforce. FilmOntario has succeeded in attracting a high volume of work to the province through film and television tax credit advocacy. Although FilmOntario’s success in policy advocacy is deeply tied to union resources, the unions’ decision to work within creative economy discourses, and in association with employers, has prevented core issues related to the quality of work from being articulated as a function of policy design. The argument is that the discursive and associational choices unions, as the collective voice of the (creative) working class, make as policy actors have a significant impact on the degree to which cultural labour problems are understood as cultural policy problems.