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IATSE ends short-lived strike against 'The Great Escape'

June 09, 2012|By Richard Verrier
  • Matt Loeb is head of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, which held a walkout at the set of the TV show "The Great Escape."
Matt Loeb is head of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees,… (Bob Chamberlin, Los Angeles…)

After less than a day, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees called off its strike against the reality TV series "The Great Escape."

IATSE, which represents below-the-line crew members on films and television shows, said Saturday morning that workers on the upcoming TNT series had walked off the job because producers had blocked efforts to unionize the show. The crew picketed for several hours outside the Placerita Canyon power plant in Santa Clarita where the show was filming.

By late Saturday afternoon, however, IATSE ended the walkout, saying it reached an agreement with the show's producers, which include Ron Howard's and Brian Grazer's Imagine Television as well as Profiles Television Productions and Fox TV Studios.

"After obstructing the IATSE's organizing efforts, the union declared the show and company off limits for its members," IATSE said in a statement. "They will now negotiate a contract so that crew members will have health, pension and safe working conditions that other workers in the entertainment have."

"The Great Escape" is a competition action/adventure reality series hosted by Rich Eisen, one of NFL Network's anchors, from the team behind the CBS hit"The Amazing Race." The series, which premieres June 24, follows teams as they compete in challenges similar to scenes from action/adventure movies.

Representatives of TNT declined to comment.

In late 2010, IATSE staged a successful walkout against the producers of the reality TV show "The Biggest Loser." Earlier this year, IATSE and the Teamsters staged a strike against the producers of the cable show "1000 Ways to Die." That dispute did not result in a contract for the workers.

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