A film crew previously at work in the heart of Oklahoma City is on strike.
The shutdown began when around 40 crew members left the set and halted production. Their reason? They want to unionize.
“At the moment, they just want to be recognized as union members,” said Winona Wacker, IATSE central region sales representative.
Members of the Nefarious Film LLC project team at Prairie Surf Studios in downtown Oklahoma City left the set and stood on a picket line on Monday to secure an IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees). The strike continued until Tuesday.
“We’re very invested in making this movie. A lot of these people are very invested in making this movie, but there has been… we don’t have any progress,” Wacker said. “It’s a large enough production, yes, to be covered.”
Prairie Surf is not part of the negotiations as they are leasing the space to production companies. The studio released the following statement as workers paced the sidewalk in front:
“Prairie Surf Studios is a privately-owned Oklahoma City film and television production facility that rents its sound sets to major, independent production companies. A national entertainment industry union is seeking collective bargaining status for some film production workers currently filming for a limited time at Prairie Surf Studios.
Prairie Surf supports the “right to work” of Oklahoma citizens as provided by Oklahoma law, as well as the right of workers to organize as provided by federal laws and other applicable laws and regulations .
“We are not a party to this dispute. However, we will comply with the requirements of Federal and State law in ensuring that Prairie Surf is and remains a safe and productive work environment for our customers and those they employ. on their projects here. “
“Early in the morning it was brutal, but everyone’s pretty solid and purposeful,” Wacker said.
The teams are demanding that the California production company, Nefarious Film LLC, provide benefits such as health and retirement benefits.
Wacker said the team requested the film’s budget information from the production company, but those requests were not met.
Members even filed charges of unfair labor practices against the company with the National Labor Relations Board. They allege that Nefarious fired, interrogated and used coercive action against employees when rumors of unionization spread.
Team members said they will be on the picket line until the production company comes to the negotiating table.