US reality TV freelancers joining union

Freelance writers and producers, some of whom have worked for the same production company for years without benefits and paid overtime, have begun joining the Writers’ Guild of America, East. An article posted at describes why 150 freelancers who work for two different New York City production companies – Atlas Media and ITV Studios – voted to join the union at the end of 2010:

“(R)eality television writers first approached the WGAE in search of health insurance, but got motivated to unionize after learning about additional ways to hold their employers accountable.”

WGAE is also meeting with the US Department of Labor to report the unpaid overtime that the writers and producers have been providing to the production companies.

UPDATE: there is another article in AlterNet about WGAE’s union drive. In it, Paula Brantner of Workplace Fairness explains the significance of this organizing drive: “This is a group of workers who believed that for professionals or white-collar workers, unions are not appropriate or unions would inhibit their freedom.”

Posted on January 11, 2011 at 3:22 pm by editor · · Tagged with: , , ,

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