In June, the US National Labor Relations Board — the federal agency that oversees labour disputes, including whether a group of individuals has the right to unionise — issued a ruling in favour of the Atlanta Opera’s makeup artists, wig artists, and hairstylists seeking union representation by granting them status as employees rather than independent contractors.
It’s a positive sign for the Hollywood stylists advocating for their own union, because like Uber drivers and the Atlanta Opera’s makeup artists, stylists are considered independent contractors rather than employees of the movie studios that cut their pay checks.
The NLRB decision to change the classification process, as well as its lenient ruling, could portend similar outcomes in the future, according to Susan Scafidi, founder of the Fashion Law Institute and law professor at Fordham University.
Strict labour laws in the US have long stood in the way of unionising efforts in creative industries like fashion. But in light of Hollywood’s historic strike and the ever-burgeoning gig economy, BoF unpacks how the tides may be shifting. Read more in our #linkinbio.