‘Biggest Loser’ crew members losing out

In a day and age when fast food companies seem to be in competition to create the unhealthiest sandwich, the TV show “The Biggest Loser” puts forward a much-needed message about personal well-being. As it chronicles the contestants’ weight loss, the show stresses the importance of diet and fitness for one’s health. Given that focus, it’s pretty ironic that the show’s producers are obstructing crew members’ attempts to gain health care and retirement benefits for themselves and their families.

Last week every crew member on the show signed authorization cards to join the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), the union that represents stagehands throughout show business . In seeking union representation, they weren’t interested in becoming millionaires or keeping up with the latest fashions on Rodeo Drive. These workers want health care coverage. But when they asked for recognition, the producers said no. Seems a bit hypocritical doesn’t it?

Now these crew members are fighting for their right to form a union and access to health care by going on strike-only to see replacement workers driving right past them to the set. The striking workers have the support of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and the Directors Guild of America (DGA), both of which have members working on the show.

And in an act of solidarity, Allison Sweeney, “Biggest Loser” host and an AFTRA member, is auctioning off a lunch date to support the striking workers. Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper, the show’s ruthless trainers, have offered similar auctions to support the workers.

Even in Hollywood, workers are finding their desire – unanimous in this case – to form a union denied by employers. We’ll keep you updated on the crew’s progress in obtaining a voice at work, and the health care they deserve.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 17th, 2010 at 2:16 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “‘Biggest Loser’ crew members losing out”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AmericanRightsAtWork and David Wasser, Jack Wade. Jack Wade said: RT @araw New blog post! 'Biggest Loser' crew members losing out http://bit.ly/avljUy ||Let's help @IATSE out! Support them! #union […]

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