Alfred DiTolla, president of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, will be one of several speakers at a “stop union busting” rally today at the CBS Studio Center in Studio City.The rally was called by the IA in part to protest the fruitless attempts to draw up a union contract for the new Shukovsky/English Entertainment sitcom “Love and War.” According to the IA, DiTolla will “blast the well-heeled producers who claim poverty in order to fatten their own profits.” Ed Asner, former president of the Screen Actors Guild, will address how “union busting practices have seriously eroded the living standards of the middle class throughout the United States,” according to the IA. Meanwhile, Shukovsky/English has sent a three-page letter to its employees, contending that Diane English and Joel Shukovksy are not “anti-union. “Diane and Joel have a long history of support of workers’ rights and we care about our crew,” the letter states. “However, in this situation, we have a serious problem with the way this union has dealt with our fledgling independent company in its formative stages. The IATSE was overly aggressive, inflexible and insensitive to the financial impact an IATSE contract would have on this new company.” In the letter, Shukovsky and English contend that they never fired the union crew for the pilot, saying they were forced to bring in a replacement crew because they could not afford the IA’s contract.
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