The hit TV series ‘1000 Ways to Die’ depicts vivid re-enactments of fatal catastrophes. But there’s a real catastrophe going on behind the scenes, as the hard-working crew of ‘1000 Ways to Die’ fights for fairness and a voice at work.
After four years of working in difficult conditions without union protections, the television crew at Spike TV's hit show decided to take a stand. Last Thursday, the crew voted unanimously to support the IATSE so they can finally secure affordable health care, safe working conditions, and a fair union contract. But the employer, Original Productions, which also produces other hit reality shows such as 'Ice Road Truckers' and 'Deadliest Catch', refused to recognize the IATSE as the bargaining unit, and promptly fired more than 25 crew members. The production has been down for the past week, and the company has already begun hiring temporary replacement workers.
Teamsters Local 399 Business Agent Steven Dayan told Deadline:
This is a company, when it comes to safety, to health benefits, to the people who made their show a success, [that] does not do things the way they should. It is a recipe for abusing people.
This morning, IATSE and Teamster leaders, the LA County Federation of Labor and rank-and-file members of several production locals joined the ‘1000 Ways to Die’ to walk the picket line in front of Original’s Burbank production facility. Click here to view photos, and watch video here.
IATSE International Vice President Mike Miller:
This is about healthcare, this is about safety and dignity in the workplace, and it’s part of the IA’s ongoing campaign to support workers in all genres of TV.
IATSE has a track record of victory in the Hollywood reality TV circuit. In November of 2010, the crew of ‘The Biggest Loser’ walked off the job for health care, working conditions and union protections, and just two weeks later, the IATSE and the management came to an agreement and the crew went back to work. Here’s hoping this dispute is resolved just as quickly, and the workers get what they rightly deserve: dignity on the job with decent wages and benefits.