The union is supporting a group of employees and former employees, who claim that there is “systematic discrimination and harassment” against women and people of color at the company.
The group has sent ITV Management, now including CEO Carolyn McCall and recently installed ITV America CEO David George, a letter outlining its concerns.
Producer Tiffany Magby, who has worked on shows including The First 48, who has since left ITV, said: “We wrote to ITV management as a group of women of color to inform them about what we consider systematic discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and overtime violations that we experienced while working on two of the company’s most prominent programmes. We called for both equal pay with our white male colleagues and opportunities for growth at ITV, specifically at the field producer level, which is currently almost exclusively held by men.”
The union is set to march on ITV’s AGM on May 10 in London, supported by members of British trade union Bectu. It comes as the union has been trying to get the commercial broadcaster, which owns one of the largest non-scripted production operations in the U.S., to sign up terms for over eight years.
Last year, a number of producers formed picket lines in New York and L.A. last year with support from high-profile writers such as The Wire creator David Simon, The West Wing’s Kate Erickson, The Walking Dead’s David Handelman and Oz’s Tom Fontana.
Lowell Peterson, Executive Director of the Writers Guild of America, East, said: “ITV’s new CEO Carolyn McCall and investors should be deeply troubled by its production operations in the U.S., which have been touted as one of the company’s key sources of profit and growth.
“In the US, ITV employees overwhelmingly voted to unionise because they believe the best way to get management to address their pressing concerns is through a collective bargaining agreement. Unfortunately, ITV has done nothing but stall and resist as employees’ concerns about working conditions and protections continue to mount.”
An ITV spokesman responded: “ITV America is extremely proud of its employees who are among the best in the business. Their consistently high performance and loyalty to ITV is, among other things, a reflection of the company’s fair and positive work environment and practices – including competitive salaries, health benefits, vacation policies and others – which comply with all applicable laws of the United States. The company will continue to bargain in good faith with the WGAE as required by law.”