Just under two weeks after the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees slapped Bravo with unfair labor practices charges at the Labor Relations Board, it looks looks like everything is now over – in a good way. “The crew of Shahs Of Sunset voted unanimously to ratify a union agreement, ending the month-long strike,” said the Motion Picture Editors Guild tonight.
Today’s deal was between producers Ryan Seacrest Productions and the Guild, sources tell me. While the show won’t make its original Season 4 debut date of October 13, postproduction on Shahs is said to be starting immediately. There might have been a hint today on the IATSE Local 700’s Twitter page that something was up in the acrimonious battle between the postproduction staff and RSP and the NBCUniversal-owned cable network, who took over direct control of the series on September 26. “Picketing activity at 5750 Wilshire Blvd. has been suspended. Please do NOT report to the picket line this afternoon,” said a tweet that went up Friday afternoon. After a rocky few weeks and the apparent pink slipping of the crew late last month, today’s ratification and agreement is another success for the Guild’s long term strategy to unionize unscripted TV.
Having said that, the IATSE Local always knew that this action was not going to be resolved as quickly as the victories on NBC’s reboot of Last Comic Standing in late April and on Discovery Channel‘s Naked & Afraid after a one-week work stoppage last November. Still, with work still to be done on the first two episodes, the 16-members of the Shahs postproduction team went on strike on September 10 in search of a union contract. The move came a couple of days after Bravo announced the debut date of the new Shahs season and one day after the Guild sent RSP subsidiary Berne Productions Inc. a letter requesting immediate negotiations. The same day as the strike started, RSP said they had “every intention of engaging in a discussion as soon as possible. Similar to the IATSE Local 700’s successful Survivor labor action of late August, the Shahs postproduction crew were primarily seeking health and pension benefits.
RSP at first said that they had have “every intention of engaging in a discussion as soon as possible.”But there were no talks and soon after pickets went up, Bravo pulled the mid-October S4 premiere date. “The new airdate has yet to be determined,” said the cabler on September 11. No new airdate for Season 4 of Shahs Of Sunset has been determined yet still but now we know for sure it’s coming.