Freelance writer Dominic Patten is a Deadline contributor.
Spike TV’s 1,000 Ways To Die might soon learn what it’s like to be The Biggest Loser. Teamsters Local 399 and IATSE said today that they plan to take action against 1,000 Ways producer Original Productions over crew members fired last week. The unions did the same thing to NBC’s then non-union reality competition series Biggest Loser in 2010, with a weeklong strike ending in a deal and the immediate resumption of production. “The company is not in production right now but when they are, we will act,” Local 399 business agent/organizer Steven Dayan told Deadline today. More than two dozen crew members from 1,000 Ways, which examines and re-creates the way people have died, saw their positions eliminated after they tried to become union members, Teamsters said. IATSE posted on its Twitter feed Thursday that “@Spike_TV “1000 Ways to Die” crew of 20+ unanimously voted to strike. Shooting is shut down, crew holding out for union contract. #VanNuys”. “The company is not paying industry standard rates to the crew that made the show successful,” Dayan says. “There are safety concerns on the set, concerns about the hours people work, and, of course, health benefits are an issue.” Original Prods, which was purchased by FremantleMedia in 2009, also produces Deadliest Catch, Storage Wars and Ice Road Truckers among other series. Season 4 of 1,000 Ways premiered January 25. “We are going to try to convince (Original) to sign an agreement,” Dayan says. “We have reached out to the company, they have not reached out to us. All they have to do is pick up the phone.”