‘America’s Top Dog’ Crew Goes Union, Wins Benefits, COVID-19 Provisions Following Strike
For Immediate Release:
Simi Valley, CA — Behind the scenes workers for A&E’s ‘America’s Top Dog’ represented by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and Teamsters Local 399 reached a union agreement Wednesday with producer Big Fish Entertainment following a two-day strike. The new contract mandates weekend rest periods, ten hours of rest in between workdays, ten hours pay minimum per workday, enhanced penalties for failing to allow for a meal break, and more.
Additionally, the agreement mandates that workers receive full healthcare and other benefits from their date of hire. IATSE Vice President and Director of the Motion Picture and Television Production Department Mike Miller said, “This was an important win for the America’s Top Dog crew, and their unity and resolve made it happen. In the midst of this pandemic, they will now work under a contract that provides healthcare, pension, improvements in working conditions and safety protocol oversight. We also recognize our partners, the Teamsters, Local 399, who joined us on the picket line and were also able to secure an agreement.”
The deal comes just two days after the relatively large crew of 115 workers across several job classifications chose to withhold their labor and strike. Multiple sources have reported an uptick in labor organizing and strikes during the COVID-19 pandemic in other industries as well, including food service, healthcare, and manufacturing. “Negotiating for healthcare and safety protections is exactly what labor unions were originally designed to do,” said Jonas Loeb, Director of Communications for the IATSE. “The America’s Top Dog crew joins so many workers across the country who recognize that now is the time to strengthen the protections we’ve fought so hard to win, and not let employers erode them.”
With the contract now in place, production of ‘America’s Top Dog will resume immediately.
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The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, or IATSE (full name: International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada), is a labor union representing over 150,000 technicians, artisans and craftspersons in the entertainment industry, including live theatre, motion picture and television production, and trade shows in the United States and Canada.
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