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Union for TV technical employees goes on strike against Pac-12 Networks


Striking workers stand outside the University of Southern California's Galen Center prior to USC's NCAA basketball game against Minnestota, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, in Los Angeles. The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, which represents crew members who work on movies and TV shows, has declared a strike against the Pac-12 Network, calling it an "unfair employer." (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The union representing freelance technical employees who work on live sporting events for Pac-12 Networks went on strike Saturday.

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees wants to establish area standard wages and benefits for the freelancers who work on the network's telecasts.

About 100 union members picketed outside Galen Center, where Southern California hosted No. 14 Minnesota in a men's basketball game. Picket lines also were set up at Arizona State, Oregon State, Oregon and Washington on Saturday where league games were being played. They carried signs reading, 'Pac 12 Networks Unfair.'

Fewer cameras were used on USC's game. Typically, there would be six, according to Steve Aredas, international representative for the IATSE. He said the union has no dispute with any of the Pac-12 schools or arenas.

Aredas said the union has tried to communicate with Pac-12 Networks executives, but they have not responded. A spokesman for the conference did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Since going on the air in September 2012, Pac-12 Networks has employed technicians represented by the IATSE at 10 of the league's schools in the union's jurisdiction. But the union says the network has used non-union labour on many events in those markets or a combination of union and non-union labour working side-by-side.

The union said those technicians working without a contract receive lower wages, no benefits and no job protection.

The IATSE represents members employed in stagecraft, film and television production in the U.S. and Canada.


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