IATSE, Teamsters back effort to organize '1000 Ways to Die'
About 60 supporters of the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and the Intl. Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 399 attended a Monday morning rally outside the Burbank headquarters of Original Prods. as part of a push to unionize Spike TV’s “1000 Ways to Die.”
The rally was set after producers dismissed about 30 crew members who were attempting to unionize.
Event featured speeches from Writers Guild of America West prexy Christopher Keyser, Screen Actors Guild board member Adam Arkin, IATSE rep Peter Marley, Teamsters rep Steve Dayan and Maria Elena Durazo, exec secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. WGA West exec director David Young joined the picketing.
The unions planned to stage another picket today at Original’s HQ.
Original responded by asserting it’s not required to recognize the unions as bargaining reps.
“IATSE and Teamsters have not filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board for certification, nor have they demonstrated a majority of the crew signed cards,” it said. “Original Productions has always offered competitive wages and excellent working conditions. It is the reason Original Prods. attracts the kind of talent that has been successfully developed into award-winning crafts people with impeccable industry reputations.”
Dayan said in response that the company refused to speak to either union when they were initially approached and that both the Teamsters and IATSE are available to meet at any time they are amenable. He also said that by the time NLRB heard a case like this, the production would be long done for the season.
“We provided the producers-production manager who were on set our business cards and asked to speak to the company,” Dayan added.
“1000 Ways to Die” re-enacts the demise of people who have died under bizarre circumstances.