The move comes with the fourth season of the series set to premiere on Oct. 13. The crew members are seeking to be represented by the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees through Local 700, the Motion Picture Editors Guild.
The union has sent Berne Prods., a Ryan Seacrest Prods. subsidiary and the crew’s employer, a letter requesting an immediate start to contract talks.
A spokeswoman for the production company confirmed that the employees’ letter has been received and that the company has every intention of engaging in a discussion as soon as possible.
IATSE used a similar tactic last month to organize the crew on CBS series “Survivor.”
“Unscripted entertainment entails much more than simply presenting an unfiltered view of a bunch of big personalities. Bringing these stories to the screen requires tremendous craft and effort,” said Local 700 President Alan Heim.
“The artists and craftspeople who do that work seek the same basic industry standards that their counterparts in scripted programming have long enjoyed,” he added. “For a show celebrating flamboyant opulence, it should be embarrassing that they don’t provide employees with health and retirement benefits.”