Dominic Patten is a Deadline contributor
UPDATED: Teamsters Local 399 business agent/organizer Steven Dayan said the action is series producer Original Productions’ own fault. “This is a company that has not communicated with us at all,” he told Deadline. “Our understanding is that Original Productions are crewing up again and that they are going to attempt to shoot again.” Production on the Spike TV series, now in its fourth season, came to a halt February 16 when Original fired more than two dozen crew members seeking union protection. Original also produces the reality series Deadliest Catch, Storage Wars and Ice Road Truckers. “This is a company, when it comes to safety, to health benefits, to the people who made their show a success, do not do things the way they should,” Dayan said. “It is a recipe for abusing people. The bottom line is that’s wrong and that is why we will be picketing on Monday.” Here’s the release announcing the action:
LOS ANGELES – Last Thursday, February 16, the crew of Spike Television’s series “1000 Ways to Die” voted unanimously to support the IATSE in securing them benefits, safe working conditions, and collective bargaining rights.
Original Productions, who also produce reality shows such as “Ice Road Truckers” and “Deadliest Catch” for Discovery, refused to recognize the IA as the bargaining unit and summarily fired the crew, numbering over 25 employees. The production has been down for the past week.
Begainning at 8:30 a.m. this coming Monday, Feb. 27, , IATSE and Teamster leaders, the LA County AFL-CIO and rank and file members of several production locals will join the union and non-union crew of “1000 Ways to Die” to walk the picket line in front of Original’s production facility at 2435 Naomi Street, Burbank, CA 91504.
“This is about healthcare, this is about safety and dignity in the workplace, and it’s part of the IA’s ongoing campaign to support workers in all genres of TV,” said Mike Milller, IATSE International Vice President, Division Director Motion Picture and Television Production.
“1000 Ways to Die,” a scripted re-enactment series, is a wholly non-union production in its fourth season and has aired on Spike since 2008.
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada, AFL-CIO, CLC (IATSE) is one of the largest entertainment labor unions in the world and represents over 110,000 technicians, artisans and craftspeople employed in stagecraft, motion picture and television production, the trade show industry, and affiliated crafts throughout the United States, Its Territories and Canada.