Labor dispute erupts on the set of '1000 Ways to Die'
About 30 crew members from the show who had been seeking to unionize were sent home last week after attempting to join Hollywood unions Teamsters Local 399 and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, said Jonathan Hanrahan, transportation captain for the Spike TV show.
He said the show's producer, Original Productions, which makes a number of reality TV programs, including "Ice Road Truckers," had already hired replacement workers.
"It's gut wrenching,'' said Hanrahan. "We love the show, and we hope that a TV deal is struck [so that] we can have basic health benefits."
IATSE and the Teamsters are expected to stage a protest picket outside the show's production offices this week. IATSE staged a successful strike against the producers of the reality series "The Biggest Loser" in November, 2010.
Representatives of Burbank-based Original Productions, which produces the show that re-creates unusual ways in which people have died, were not immediately available for comment.
Launched in 2008, "1000 Ways to Die" films on stages in Burbank and Sun Valley.
-- Richard Verrier
Photo: Striking workers from The Biggest Loser picket the NBC reality show's set in Calabasas on November 15, 2010. Some 50 crew members stage a strike to secure a union contract. Credit: Brian van der Brug/LA Times.