The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) has hit Bravo with unfair labor practice charges.
The move follows the U.S. cable network’s dismissal of the editorial staff for reality series Shahs of Sunset (pictured), who went on strike earlier this month in a bid to secure a union contract with Bravo and Ryan Seacrest Productions.
The Motion Picture Editors Guild (IATSE Local 700) filed the charges with the National Labor Relations Board on behalf of the show’s editors on Monday (September 29).
“If Bravo or Ryan Seacrest thinks that their problems go away because they announce that our editors have been fired, they’re sorely mistaken,” said Alan Heim, president of the Motion Picture Editors Guild, in a statement. “This is no longer just a fight about whether this crew gets health and retirement benefits; it’s an unabashed attack on the right to organize.”
The editors went on strike on September 10, shutting down post-production on Shahs of Sunset‘s fourth season. The crew had signed union cards authorizing IATSE to negotiate on their behalf and walked off the job after receiving no response to a letter requesting contract talks.
Bravo has delayed the planned October 13 season four premiere indefinitely due to the strike.
On September 26, producers for RSP relinquished control of the series to Bravo.
“Bravo controls the rights to Shahs of Sunset, and as a result, makes all final decisions regarding production and budgetary matters,” the company said in a statement. “Ryan Seacrest Productions has deferred to the network’s decision for Bravo to assume all remaining production duties on Shahs of Sunset. RSP will be unable to continue working with the editors that were previously engaged on this production.”
“The right to organize, including the right to strike, is enshrined in federal law,” the Guild said in a statement issued last week. “It is an egregious violation of the law for any employer to discharge or otherwise retaliate against employees for exercising their right to organize.”
A spokesperson for Bravo said the network has no comment.
The Shahs of Sunset dispute began just under a month after editors on the long-running CBS reality series Survivor walked off the job. They called off the strike a day later when producers agreed to a union contract.