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IATSE, Laurel King near agreement on ‘Stand’ off

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees announced Thursday a settlement agreement with Laurel King Prods. that included re-employing workers who refused to cross the picket line on the ABC miniseries “The Stand.”

However, IATSE held off final agreement until Teamster Local 399 Studio Drivers also settled with the producers.

Laurel Entertainment, a New York-based production company, joined with Stephen King to form Laurel King Productions, Inc., and produce an 8-hour miniseries for ABC based on King’s novel “The Stand.” The majority of this production, to be shot in Utah, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, is using below the line crew from across the United States.

According to IATSE, the crew was under the impression that the producers would sign with the IATSE and provide union benefits and working conditions. When it became apparent this was not the case, the IATSE was called in to organize.

Although a majority of the employees requested IATSE to represent them, recognition was denied by the employer and IATSE was forced to strike for recognition. The picket line was honored by Teamster Local 399 and Local 222.

Dispute endorsed

The Utah AFL-CIO, headed by president Ed Mayne, endorsed the labor dispute and helped with the staffing of the picket lines from the ranks of their affiliated unions.

Members of IATSE Local 99, Salt Lake City, staffed the picket line daily, driving as much as 100 miles to locations in order to protest against this employer.

“The Stand” represents one of the bigger miniseries productions in recent years, and Laurel has been trying to complete the sprawling post-Apocalyptic epic without generating a massive deficit.

The project was in development for 12 years, and its script calls for more than 120 locations. To keep costs down Laurel operates out of a modest office in New York; and feature-caliber actors on the project were asked to work for less than their usual fees. Richard P. Rubinstein, president of Laurel Entertainment, was unavailable for comment Thursday.

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