Irish Equity, the union representing professionals in the live performance and theatre sector in the Republic of Ireland, has congratulated its counterpart union in the United States, SAG-AFTRA, on the successful conclusion of their strike action. The SIPTU-affiliated union has also pledged to ensure that Irish performers on American or British co-productions shooting in Ireland are treated equally, saying that the terms and conditions won by SAG-AFTRA are "denied to Irish performers by local Irish producers." Gerry O'Brien, Irish Equity President, said: "We send our congratulations to each and every actor, writer and director who joined the picket line to achieve a fair deal for their membership over the last 100 plus days. They have been and remain an inspiration to us all. "Irish Equity will fight to ensure that Irish performers are engaged on equal terms and conditions on US/UK co-productions shooting in Ireland and subsidised from the public purse. Everything our colleagues in SAG-AFTRA have fought for and won is denied to Irish performers by local Irish producers. We must remember that the companies that were picketed in the US are the same companies that benefit from our Section 481 tax break when filming here. "In the last Budget, only one of the recommendations of the oversight committee's report on Section 481 was implemented: the increase in the cap on productions. The other recommendations by the committee, which called for Irish performers to be engaged on terms and conditions equal to any other performer, have been voted down by the government. "This is shameful. We must have equal rights for Irish performers, particularly where public funds are made available. The recommendations of the oversight committee must be implemented."