BTI Studios translators walk out in Helsinki

Finnish employees of international localisation and media company BTI Studios – known formerly as Broadcast Text International Oy – organised an hour-long stoppage on Monday today. The walkout on Malminkatu in Helsinki was a protest against the company’s unwillingness to take part in the collective agreement deliberation of audiovisual translation agencies, BTI translator Arto Vartikainen says.

According to Vartikainen, some 30 individuals took part in the walkout protest, including translators working from home. Other localisation and translation firms (Pre-Text Oy, Rosmer International Osk, SDI Media Oy and Stellar Text Oy) except BTI have taken part in the ongoing talks to improve AV translators’ working conditions.

BTI Studios is one of the world’s largest localisation and access companies in the media industry. It has been subject to an overtime work ban and general boycott by the Union of Journalists in Finland, Translation Industry Professionals KAJ and interest group Akava Special Branches since November, 2012. The groups would have lifted their boycott had a BTI representative arrived at their talks on Monday, according to KAJ’s website.

Finnish media provider MTV Media outsourced 114 of its employed freelance translators and subtitlers over to BTI in a business transfer in October, 2012. Discussion surrounding the rights of audiovisual translators has been heated ever since. Monday’s meeting resolved to come to acceptable terms by the end of the year.

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