LOS ANGELES, CA – As part of the ongoing campaign to organize reality television, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees had another victory finalizing the contract for well-known reality television series “Blind Date,” it was stated by Thomas C. Short, International President. The new union contract with Bobwell Productions provides for health insurance and retirement benefits through the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plans and will cover some 25 post-production professionals including picture and sound editors, mixers, graphic artists and their respective assistants.
In spite of strong opposition from the company producers, the IATSE gained the right to represent Bobwell’s postproduction crew with an overwhelming vote in the October 2003 election conducted by The National Labor Relations Board.
Reality television is the latest genre to be targeted by the IATSE organizing staff. First run syndicated “Blind Date” joins “Swan,” “Big Brother,” “Next Action Star,” “American Idol” and “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” as well as production companies New York Times Television and Granada, among others that have come under contract in the last two years as part of an ongoing effort by the IATSE to bring better wages, benefits and working conditions to the crews that make these shows. In spite of resistance from producers, the organizing staff is determined to methodically organize all reality television under the IATSE banner. IA President Thomas C. Short said, “Lack of organization in reality television has a detrimental impact on our members and their families. There is no better way for us to serve our members than to organize the unorganized.”