LOS ANGELES — Picture Vision Pictures, Inc, a Nashville production house, signed with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employes (IATSE) for the filming of a Wal-Mart TV commercial after an organizing drive and a brief work stoppage.
The significance of this organizing drive is that Wal-Mart had previously filmed commercials non-union. Thanks to this contract signing, a crew of thirty will receive retroactive health and pension benefits and, more importantly, Picture Vision Pictures, Inc is now a signatory to a national contract.
Key to this effort was the close coordination and communication among International Representatives Scott Harbinson and Dan Mahoney, representatives of IATSE Local 492 Studio Mechanics of Tennessee and Northern Mississippi, and International Representative Steve Aredas.
Wal-Mart is a completely nonunion, anti-union employer, and has routinely sought to make its commercials non-union. At the last Mid-Winter General Executive Board Meeting of the IATSE in Houston, Texas, International Representative Mahoney noted that Wal-Mart produces its own commercials or uses commercial companies that fold up when attempts are made to organize them. However, Mr. Mahoney pointed out then, an increasing number of Wal-Mart commercials done by outside companies have been organized by the IATSE and many Wal-Mart commercials are now being crewed by IATSE members.