“This was an important win for the America’s Top Dog crew, and their unity and resolve made it happen,” said IATSE vice president Mike Miller. “In the midst of this pandemic, they will now work under a contract that provides healthcare, pension, improvements in working conditions and safety protocol oversight. We also recognize our partners, Teamsters Local 399, who joined us on the picket line and were also able to secure an agreement.”
The new contract with Bark Entertainment, a division of Big Fish Entertainment, mandates that workers receive full healthcare and other benefits from their date of hire; a minimum of 10 hours of work per day; 10 hours of rest between workdays; weekend rest periods; and penalties for failing to allow for meal breaks.
“Negotiating for healthcare and safety protections is exactly what labor unions were originally designed to do,” said Jonas Loeb, IATSE’s director of communications. “The America’s Top Dog crew joins so many workers across the country who recognize that now is the time to strengthen the protections we’ve fought so hard to win, and not let employers erode them.”
“We were able to get a good contract with a nonunion reality company during this pandemic in solidarity with our brothers and sisters of IATSE,” said Lindsay Dougherty, Teamsters Local 399’s business agent and lead organizer. “We would like to thank them for their help during the strike. It was grassroots organizing at its best. We are proud of our brother and sister Teamsters who stood strong during the strike.”
Dougherty told Deadline that Local 399 has contracts with about 75 film, TV and streaming projects – not counting commercials – that are currently prepping or shooting in and around Los Angeles. She said that about 30% of them are currently in production.
The show, which is filming under COVID-19 protocols, features K-9 units competing on obstacle courses and mazes. Its second season is being filmed at the 76 Ranch in Simi Valley.