International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, the union representing striking editors on Bravo’s “Shahs of Sunset,” has filed charges against the cable network with the National Labor Relations Board.
The union alleges that Bravo is retaliating against workers requesting union representation. Last week, Ryan Seacrest Productions handed over the production of “Shahs” to Bravo amid a work stoppage by the show’s editors. Individuals with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap that the cable network will most likely hire non-union editors to finish “Shahs'” fourth season.
“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, ACE, President of the Motion Picture Editors Guild (IATSE Local 700), in a statement on Monday.
“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,” he continued. “We will fight back and we will win. No self-respecting editor is going to cut this show after this show cut their colleagues.”
Bravo declined to comment for this article.
In a statement released by RSP last Friday, the company placed responsibility for the show on Bravo and explained that it was unable to work with its striking post-production editors and had relinquished production to Bravo. The cable channel confirmed it was taking over production on the series.
Editors working on the fourth season of “Shahs” walked about three weeks ago after RSP failed to address a letter requesting an immediate start to contract talks. That was folllowed by picketing outside the RSP offices. The editors had overwhelmingly signed cards authorizing IATSE to negotiate on their behalf, but insiders say RSP failed to reach out.
In the meantime, the union won an early battle when Bravo was forced to push the “Shahs” premiere back to an undetermined date during the first week of striking.
As more non-fiction and entertainment employees search out union representation, there have been a series of high-profile work stoppages by production and post-production reality television crews in the IATSE’s ongoing campaign to unionize the genre.
Less than a month ago, a similar strike succeeded in winning a contract for employees of CBS’s “Survivor.”