IATSE declares strike against Pac-12 Network
One of Hollywood's largest unions wants to sack the newly formed Pac-12 Network — at least temporarily.
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, which represents crew members who work on movies and TV shows, said early Saturday morning it has declared a strike against Pac-12 Network, calling it an "unfair employer."
Launched this summer, the network provides cable and satellite broadcasts of Pac-12 Conference teams' sporting events, including men's football and women's basketball.
In a statement, the union said that in some markets the network has used non-union crews who generally receive lower wages, no benefits and don't have the job protections afford by a union contract. Efforts to negotiate with the network have been rebuffed, the IATSE said."The skills and commitment of the broadcast technicians we represent are unparalleled,'' said IATSE President Matthew Loeb. "These folks go above and beyond to guarantee the viewers the experience they deserve, and these workers deserve the dignity of a contract that secures their interests in return."
As of Saturday, strike lines were to be set up outside on-campus sports events at USC in Los Angeles; Arizona State University in Tempe; Oregon State University in Corvallis; the University of Oregon in Eugene and the University of Washington in Seattle.
Representatives of Pac-12 Network were not immediately available for comment.
The walkout is the latest job action by IATSE, which has waged several strikes against producers of reality TV shows and has taken on a more assertive posture in its dealing with employers in the last three years under the leadership of Loeb.
-- Richard Verrier
Photo: Matt Loeb, president of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, in 2011. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times