EXCLUSIVE UPDATED with IATSE deal: Hollywood’s Teamsters Local 399 has won a $200,000 grievance settlement against HBO’s Big Little Lies. The money is being paid out to the dozens of transportation drivers who worked on the first season of the Emmy-winning limited series.
An HBO spokesman confirmed that IATSE also negotiated a settlement for its crew members on the show, but would not say how much money was involved.
The settlements stem from the fact that the seven-episode first season had been produced under the union’s movie of the week contract, which provides for lower wages than its episodic TV rate. Originally, there’d been no intention to shoot a second season, but when the show was picked up for an additional seven episodes, Local 399 secretary-treasurer Steve Dayan and president Kenny Farnell filed a grievance, saying the Season 1 drivers were entitled to retro pay – a bonus to make up for the difference in wages they would have received had the show been filmed under the local’s episodic TV contract.
After months of negotiating with the company, Dayan and Farnell were able to settle the grievance and won more than $200,000 in wages to be paid retroactively back to the show’s original drivers. The checks ranged in amounts based on how long they worked on the initial season.
“We’re talking, for most people, thousands of dollars,” Dayan told Deadline of the check sizes. “And I give HBO credit for agreeing to a settlement. They could have fought us and they didn’t.”
“I’m beyond excited that our members were able to take home some extra cash for their much-deserved efforts on such a highly acclaimed show,” Dayan said. “In light of the changes to the show’s original schedule, our members deserved to be made whole and paid the proper episodic rates. We are grateful to the company for their efforts to correct this situation quickly and recognize that their crewmembers are just as important as the cast when it comes to bringing a television show to life.”
“It’s a great day when you can visit a show and hand out checks to your members,” Farnell said on the union’s website.
The show’s second season began filming in March, and is scheduled to air next March.