TV technical union strikes against Pac-12 Networks

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LOS ANGELES (AP) - 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.

"We respect individuals' right to decide whether to be represented by a union," Pac-12 Networks said in a statement. "Regardless of how they decide, we will remain focused on creating an environment that is inclusive, respectful and allows us to have direct relationships with our staff and contractors."

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 labor on many events in those markets or a combination of union and non-union labor 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.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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