I’m told a group of IATSE members are circulating a petition that lobbies IATSE leadership to end what they say is a sweetheart deal enjoyed by HBO at the expense of below-the-line IATSE employees. “With all the labor management strife in recent months, it is important to call attention to us non-striking IATSE members who are under constant attack from studios that continue to insist on concessions and rollbacks from their least powerful employees,” one of the insiders emailed me. Here’s the petition that advocates the elimination of substandard wages and conditions which are currently part of IATSE’s contract with HBO:

To: Elected Officials of IATSE
Sponsored by: FAIR PAY FOR IATSE

We the undersigned IATSE members petition the IATSE leadership to renegotiate our labor contract with HBO.

The current contract sets wages and overtime pay far below the basic television agreement.  While these concessions may have been necessary to bring a fledgling HBO into the union fold, that is no longer the case. HBO has achieved record profits due in no small part to the sacrifices of our IATSE brothers and sisters. We believe it’s time for this to end.

Presently, most crews on HBO productions work at rates 10% to 30% below scale. DGA, WGA and the Teamsters all work under a basic television agreement with HBO.

Only IATSE has a sub standard contract.

The current agreement calls for double time to be paid after 14 hours, rather than the standard 12. This concession encourages producers to regularly schedule 14 hour days with little thought to the crew’s well-being. We must restore the 12 hour overtime deal and curb this crew abuse.

Hit shows like The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and The Wire have made HBO strong and prosperous. We believe it’s time they stand on their own and no longer rely on our concessions.

Make HBO honor the IATSE basic agreement!