Seeking to address working conditions that have “worsened dramatically” in recent years, thousands of workers employed in TV commercial production departments across the country have formed a new union called Stand With Production under the umbrella of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.
Asking to be recognized by the Association of Independent Commercial Producers, the newly formed union represents line producers, production supervisors, assistant production supervisors, production assistants and others working in commercial production departments.
“Commercial production workers’ issues are the very same ones this union has fought to address through collective bargaining for decades,” IATSE president Matt Loeb said. “As 160,000 strong working in all corners of the entertainment industry, including many who work on commercials directly alongside you, your fight is our fight.”
In its mission statement, the new union says that “We have found that our working conditions have worsened dramatically over the past decade. We are in a historic time. Production timelines have shortened while agencies and clients have expanded their expectations. All this while cost consultants and clients work diligently to defund the working capital to produce these projects. The pandemic has only exacerbated these changes. The greatest burden of the responsibility for Covid has also fallen on the shoulders of the production teams. There are no longer the time, resources, or tools that we need to be safe and successful on our employers’ projects.
“This has caused many of our production brethren to opt out of the business and/or find new less stressful and strenuous ways to earn a living. This is why production companies have had a particularly challenging time this past year staffing jobs. But many of us want to continue on, doing what we love.
“We feel the time has come with the ask to be recognized with the rest of our film family, to have a measure of parity with the basic standards afforded those in IATSE, DGA, and other represented positions on union commercials. This includes the right to be paid for all of the days we work, to receive overtime and adequate rest time, to be paid day rates reflective of the current market that are adjusted over time for inflation and costs of living, and to participate in a pension plan so that we may retire with some measure of security like everyone else involved in production.”
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