LOS ANGELES, CA — The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) sent a formal request to the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP) to initiate a card count by a neutral third party on behalf of thousands of unionizing freelance TV Commercial Production department workers, Thursday.
Earlier this year, these workers announced their partnership with IATSE through the ‘Stand With Production’ movement, and in October the Union Behind Entertainment secured a Neutrality Agreement and procedures which presented a pathway for the group’s union to be voluntarily recognized by the AICP.
Per the agreement, if a majority of eligible workers designate IATSE as their exclusive bargaining representative by signing digital authorization cards, the AICP will recognize the union for purposes of engaging in contract negotiations. The card count is a key step towards officially confirming whether the majority wants a union.
IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb said, “We have been confident a majority in the freelance commercial production community are in favor of unionizing for some time, yet every day the workers continue signing even more cards to demonstrate they are serious about working with the AICP to build a more standardized, sustainable, and safer industry. It’s no surprise these workers want and deserve many of the same rights and protections their unionized co-workers already have.”
The unionizing workers include Production Assistants (PA’s), Line Producers, Production Supervisors, Assistant Production Supervisors and Bidding Producers whose work facilitates TV Commercials seen by millions each year and produced under the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP). While “crew” positions like Production Designers/Art Directors, Camera Operators, Hair and Makeup Artists, Script Supervisors, Grips, Lighting, Props, and Paint have historically been represented on TV commercial sets by IATSE, workers in the production department historically have not.