Crew Members Walk Off the Job in Dispute With Reality Show THR

The editorial crew has walked off the job on a popular reality show after the Motion Picture Editors Guild told its members not to work for the show, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The show is History’s “Swamp People,” which is produced by the Endemol subsidiary Original Media.

In a post on its website the guild cites “unfair labor practice ... unlawfully interfer(ing) with employees' rights under the National Labor Relations Act by interrogating employees about union organizing activity.”

“It’s not clear from the post whether the union, which operates as IATSE Local 700, has filed an Unfair Labor Practice complaint with the National Labor Relations Board,” THR reports. “The post also instructs ‘members and potential members’ of the union not to service the production until further notice and asks that people email the guild if they learn of attempts to replace the striking members.”

IATSE has been trying to organize workers on unscripted shows, the piece notes, and has approached it one show at a time. “In the past year, the effort has resulted in agreements with Profiles Entertainment (TNT’s ‘The Great Escape’) and Electus (NBC’s ‘Fashion Star’), among others,” the story reports.

The piece notes that the Writers Guild of America “sought blanket jurisdiction over reality as a negotiating point in the 2007-08 writers strike, but that level of union coverage proved to be a nonstarter.”

Requests for comments from the Editors Guild and the production company were not answered, the report notes.