IATSE has declared the Pac-12 Network to be an unfair employer and has authorized a strike against the network, the union announced just after midnight Saturday. As of Saturday, strike lines will be set up at Arizona State University in Tempe, Oregon State University in Corvallis, the University of Oregon in Eugene, the University of Washington in Seattle and USC in Los Angeles.
Men’s basketball games are scheduled for Saturday at all of those locations. How or whether the strike will affect broadcast of the games is unknown. THR was unable to reach the network for comment.
The aim of the strike is to establish area standard wages and benefits for daily hire technical employees of the Pac-12 Network working on live sporting events.
Said IATSE president Matt Loeb: "The skills and commitment of the broadcast technicians we represent are unparalleled. 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."
In a statement, the union said that, since going on the air in September 2012, the network has employed technicians represented by IATSE at venues of the 10 Pac-12 Conference institutions in the IA's jurisdiction. However, said the union, the network has crewed many events in IATSE markets using nonunion labor, or a combination of nonunion and covered labor side-by-side on the same job.
The union statement added that technicians working without an IATSE contract for the Pac-12 Network receive generally lower wages, no benefits and are without job protections afforded by an IA contract. It was not possible to independently verify the assertions or, at this time, to obtain response from the network.
The union said that its broadcast membership in the affected markets authorized the union to negotiate concessions with its signatory crewing providers in order to accommodate the stated needs of the network but that, “despite these accommodations and other IA attempts to reach out to the (network’s) management … they have refused to communicate with the union.”
After polling the union’s executive board, Loeb declared the network an unfair employer and authorized the strike.
Bookmark The Hollywood Reporter’s Labor Page for the most in-depth coverage of entertainment unions and guilds.
Email: jhandel99 at gmail dot com