IATSE Accuses AICP Of “Union Busting” In Drive To Organize TV Commercial Department Workers

IATSE is accusing the Association of Independent Commercial Producers of “union busting” and providing companies with a “license to blacklist” production department workers engaged in unionizing efforts.

Last month, the union said that thousands of workers employed in TV commercial production departments had formed a new union called Stand with Production under the umbrella of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.

IATSE now says that those workers are facing “heavy resistance to their organizing efforts,” and it claims that the AICP has been distributing “union-busting materials to its member companies. In the document, the AICP appears to give its companies a license to blacklist union supporters, stating: ‘Companies can refuse to hire union members as supervisors and can fire supervisors that engage in union activity so long as certain safeguards are met…’”

Read those AICP materials, called “What to Do When There Is a Union Organizing Campaign,” here.

“This is a slap in the face to every IATSE member,” said IATSE president Matt Loeb. “All workers should be able to make their voices heard without threats or fear of retaliation. In response to this escalation by the AICP, we will safeguard the democratic process with a variety of counter-retaliation measures, including publicly tracking instances where workers believe they have been retaliated against, and referring these cases to the National Labor Relations Board in cases where Federal Labor Law is violated.”

IATSE also says that the AICP “has now repeatedly indicated its intent to undermine this unionization effort by fighting to exclude certain positions, regardless of the will of the workers.”

“IATSE stands with production,” he added, “and we share in the goal to have production positions from PA’s to producers recognized under a single union. The truth is, once these workers present their cards, the AICP could voluntarily recognize their union with all positions included. And if they don’t, the only party that would be responsible for creating divisions and exclusions would be the AICP.”

Deadline has reached out to the AICP and will update with any comments.

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