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Thor crew on same wages as a decade ago

AAP logoAAP 9/08/2016 By Darren Cartwright

Some Aussie crew members working on the big budget Hollywood movie Thor: Ragnarok on the Gold Coast are on the same casual rates as a decade ago, their union says.

Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance's Queensland director Michelle Rae says the "market" rate, which is higher than the award rate, has not increased in 10 years and a workplace agreement with international productions needs to be struck.

She says many in the industry believe international producers are "double dipping" by accepting payroll tax concessions and then negotiating on wages and conditions after they've agreed to a government deal.

"If we had an agreement with the market rate included, then it wouldn't be an issue and the producers would know what their budget is before they start talking to the government," Ms Rae told AAP.

"It's like they are double dipping. They are taking (payroll) tax concessions from the government and looking for savings with wages and conditions from employees."

She said Hollywood producers expected low wages because of a special deal struck for an instalment of the Pirates Of The Caribbean during the global financial crisis.

She said that was a one-off deal to compensate for a strong Australian dollar and to stimulate the local film industry.

More acceptable terms and conditions for Aussie workers were included in the making of San Andreas and Kong: Skull Island because they included Sunday and six day penalty rates and they should form the template of any wages deal.

"Every time a producer comes here they have an expectation and want the Pirates' deal," Ms Rae said.

"People are looking at their wages and seeing the minimum market rate is the same as it was 10 years ago. It would be great if the government helped ... and we'd like to discuss how we can maintain our industry.

"The San Andreas and the Skull Island conditions are the basis ... and it's significant savings on what an Australian producer would pay for penalties."

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