Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Unions Desperate to Keep Hobbit

Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Unions Desperate to Keep Hobbit

Article excerpt

NEW Zealand unions launched a desperate bid on Sunday to keep production of The Hobbit in New Zealand as they issued an unreserved assurance the movies would not be affected by industrial action.

Public opinion polls have overwhelmingly showed the unions are blamed by New Zealanders for the row that has threatened the $US500 million ($A513.08 million) project.

Their "absolute assurance" of no disruption came as representatives from Warner Bros, the film's producers, prepared to make arrangements to move the production offshore because of concerns about industrial strife.

"I sincerely hope Warners accept that assurance," New Zealand Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly said in a statement.

The bitter row over the prequel to the The Lord of the Rings trilogy erupted when the actors' union NZ Equity called for a global boycott of The Hobbit while they attempted to negotiate a minimum standards agreement.

Movie director Sir Peter Jackson refused, saying it would set an unacceptable industry precedent. …

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