I mentioned this in an earlier post but I think it’s worth repeating:
If Peter Jackson needs stable industrial relations on the Hobbit all he needs to do is employ his workers as employees (probably a mix of full-time, fixed-term and casual). Preferably on a collective agreement.
Under NZ law it is illegal to take industrial action during the term of an employment agreement and there are serious penalties for taking illegal industrial action for both the union and the workers (such as having to pay the costs incurred by the action which would not be small beer on a massive film production).
I doubt the actors would mind having the protections of employment law (such as sick-leave and holiday pay) either.
And any worker that wanted to be a contractor could still be one.
That was an option right from the start and it would provide stability and protection for both parties under our very stable and certain employment law. I’d love to know why the producers haven’t chosen to go this way if labour stability is the most important factor in the Hobbit staying here.