Latest Labor News


Feds Probing Former Paramount Exec Over Embezzlement Allegations


The U.S. Department of Labor is investigating allegations that former Paramount labor relations executive Stephen Koppekin embezzled money from three of the union pension and health plans that he served on as a management trustee. Two years ago, Paramount announced that Koppekin had retired after many years as the studio's SVP Labor Relations. On Thursday, however, the studio acknowledged that he'd been fired for the allegedly embezzlement. "As soon as this was brought to… Read


‘Midnight Rider’ Case Moves To Federal Court As OSHA Hearing Scheduled

Midnight Rider CSX evidence

EXCLUSIVE: A hearing will be held in federal court next week regarding the Midnight Rider train trestle accident that killed 27-year old camera assistant Sarah Jones to determine whether or not the film company behind the Gregg Allman biopic will have to pay fines levied against them by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. That hearing will take place in Savannah next Tuesday, March 31 and could last through April 2. At issue is whether the defendants… Read


Ed Asner Tells Union Actors: Just Say No To Equity’s Minimum-Wage Plan

Ed Asner

EXCLUSIVE: Former SAG President Ed Asner is urging stage actors to vote no on Actors’ Equity's proposal to scrap L.A.’s 99-seat theater waiver. Balloting on the plan begins today, with an Equity Council vote slated for April 21. The proposed change would require small theater companies to pay actors minimum wage for performances, a move that opponents say would result in the shuttering of many theater in the city that provide a crucial environment for young thespians… Read


Camera Operator After ‘Midnight Rider': “Speak Loudly And Lead By Example”


Dave Chameides, an Emmy-winning A Camera/Steadicam operator, has been working in the film industry for the past 25 years and a member of Local 600 for the past 20. In the wake of the Sarah Jones tragedy we've heard about the Director, the Producer, the UPM (unit production manager) and the 1st AD (assistant director). We've learned of their duplicity and the fact that the above the line "adults" had complete knowledge of the danger they placed their crew in. But in every… Read


Husband Of Worker Hurt On ‘NCIS: LA’ Calls For “After-Injury Advocate”


Assistant location manager Brianne Brozey, who was injured on the set of NCIS: Los Angeles in March 2011 — and was one of a handful of people Deadline found in the industry with enough courage to go on the record after the train accident that killed Sarah Jones  — now has difficulty speaking after going through a life-threatening, five-hour surgery. It is her first of two major surgeries after being hurt almost four years ago by a falling steel grip head from a light… Read


‘Midnight Rider’ NTSB Report: Trespassing On Tracks Led To Crash

Midnight Rider CSX evidence

The National Transportation Safety Board has issued its final report on the Midnight Rider train accident in Georgia last year that took the life of camera assistant Sarah Jones, determining that that "the probable cause of the accident was the film crew's unauthorized entry" onto the train trestle owned and operated by CSX Transportation. "Contributing to the accident was the adjacent property owner's actions to facilitate the film crew's access to the right-of-way and… Read


Feds Cite CNN’s “Anti-Union Animus”, Reject Latest Appeal In Worker Firings


CNN has lost another round in the broadcast industry's longest-running labor dispute – a battle that's been going on so long that some of the workers wrongfully terminated by the news network 12 years ago have died before they could be rehired, as ordered by the National Labor Relations Board. The NLRB has rejected the news network’s latest appeal in the case that began in 2003, when CNN decided to get rid of some 300 unionized technicians in its New York and Washington… Read


L.A. Actors Protest Union Plan For Minimum Wage At 99-Seat Theaters

Actors Equity Pickets

Armed with picket signs and the support of such recognizable stars as Tim Robbins and Helen Mirren, some 350 people marched Monday afternoon a mile-long route to the North Hollywood office of the Actors’ Equity Association to protest the union’s proposal that would require small theaters to pay actors the minimum wage for performances. Stretching in a line several city blocks long, the marchers called on the union to retain the current plan that allows professional actors… Read


‘Midnight Rider’ Accident: New Video Of Horror On Georgia Train Trestle


ABC’s 20/20 tonight aired a segment about the Midnight Rider case that included chilling video of the train accident that killed Sarah Jones last year. The footage, first shown in court, shows the film crew running for their lives as they try to get clear of a freight train barreling down on them, all the while blaring its horn. Jones died in the ensuing impact, and six other crew members were injured. On March 9, the day his trial was set to begin, director Randall Miller… Read


IATSE Rips Into “Lying” ‘Sharknado 3′ Producers – Update

sharknado 3

UPDATE, 11:55 AM: It didn’t take long for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees to respond to dismissive and disparaging remarks from Sharknado 3 producer The Asylum earlier today. “This new collection of lies is nothing more than an anti-union screed,” the union bluntly said Friday in a statement about the more than weeklong labor action (read the full IATSE statement below). With this war of words as well as picket lines and replacement workers in the… Read


Sarah Jones’ Friends, Co-Workers Rip Publication Of Autopsy Details – Update

Sarah Jones

UPDATED, 1:06PM: The Hollywood Reporter has removed most of the grisly details from its story about the Sarah Jones autopsy report that her family, co-workers and friends found offensive. PREVIOUSLY, Thursday, 10:05 AM: A story by The Hollywood Reporter describing grisly autopsy details of Sarah Jones has shocked and infuriated many of Jones' family, friends and former co-workers in the entertainment industry as they took to Twitter and Facebook Wednesday evening calling… Read


‘Sharknado 3′ Strike Hits White House


Just over a week after the watery Syfy sequel was hit by labor action, IATSE has taken its bark and bite to the nation’s capital. Shooting on Sharknado 3 in front of the White House this morning was interrupted by picketers. All the IATSE members on the Asylum produced shoot walked off the job, the union says. “Representatives of the IATSE and its local unions will be present whenever and wherever this production attempts to film in and around Washington, D.C.," said the… Read