UPDATE: The PAC 12 sports network has responded to a strike action and picketing by IATSE members outside USC and other conference member schools. The network said it respects the right for workers to decide on union representation and pledged to continue maintain “an exciting and creative work environment”. IATSE said earlier today it had set up pickets at USC in Los Angeles and several other schools on the West Coast and in Arizona because PAC 12 Network is “an unfair employer” that uses non-union workers in areas covered by IATSE. PAC 12 Network has contracts with Time Warner Cable, Comcast, DISH Network, Bright House Networks, among others, to show non-pro sports out of the Western U.S.

Here’s PAC 12 Net’s statement:

We respect an individual’s right to decide whether to be represented by a union. Regardless of how they decide, we will remain focused on creating an environment that is inclusive, respectful and allows us to have direct relationships with our staff and contractors. We are building a robust enterprise that offers competitive compensation, an exciting and creative work environment, and growing work opportunities for industry professionals, campus staff and students from our universities for many years to come.

And IATSE’s statement:

IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb, after polling the IA’s Executive Board, has declared the PAC 12 Network to be an unfair employer and has authorized a strike against the network.  PAC 12 Network derives its income from cable and satellite broadcasts, including advertising fees, of member college and university sporting events, including men’s football and men’s and women’s basketball.

Said President Loeb, “The skills and commitment of the broadcast technicians we represent are unparalleled. These folks go above and beyond to guarantee the viewers the experience they deserve, and these workers deserve the dignity of a contract that secures their interests in return.”

As of Saturday, Dec. 8, strike lines will be set up at Arizona State University, Tempe; Oregon State University, Corvallis; University of Oregon, Eugene; University of Washington, Seattle, and University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

The aim of the strike is to establish area standard wages and benefits for daily hire technical employees of the PAC 12 Network working on live sporting events.

Since going on the air in September 2012, the Network has employed technicians represented by the IA at venues of the ten PAC 12 Conference institutions in the IA’s jurisdiction.  However, they have crewed many events in IA markets using non-union labor, or a combination of non-union and covered labor side by side on the same job.  Those technicians working without the protection of an IA contract for the PAC 12 network receive generally lower wages, no benefits, and are without the job protections afforded by an IA contract.

The broadcast membership of the IATSE locals in the affected markets authorized their leadership to negotiate concessions with its signatory crewing providers in order to accommodate the stated needs of the PAC 12 Network.  Despite these accommodations and other IA attempts to reach out to the management of the PAC 12 Network they have refused to communicate with the union.

The IATSE is an International Union that represents members employed in the stagecraft, motion picture and television production, and trade show industries throughout the United States, its Territories, and Canada.