IATSE shuts down ‘Dove’

The Montana set for the CBS miniseries “Return to Lonesome Dove” was mighty lonely for a time Tuesday after IATSE workers shut production of the TV pic for half a day, complaining that RHI Entertainment would not collectively bargain.

Filming resumed in the Billings area about four hours later after an “equitable” agreement was reached with the union, said Lyle Trachtenberg, spokesman for the Intl.

Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.

“They’re back to work,” said Trachtenberg. “An equitable agreement was reached for both sides.”

RHI officials could not be reached for comment on the pact, which was reportedly retroactive to the first day of production.

Trachtenberg said more than100 people walked in the job action Tuesday a.m. as the first and second units refused to cross the line.

Informal talks with RHI broke off last Friday when the company refused to recognize the union. Trachtenberg said union chiefs then decided on the action.

Union sources said “Return to Lonesome Dove,” which will air in November, has suffered a slew of work-related accidents on the set. Trachtenberg said this was likely due to the long hours RHI demanded.

“There were indeed big accidents, little accidents … the point being the crew was working under long hours and not under a collective bargaining agreement,” Trachtenberg said.

He added the union had skirmished with RHI in the past to win contracts. He said they initiated a job action against the firm half a year ago over a contract for a TV project called “Space Rangers.”

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