Thousands of 'Ink Master' Fans Petition Spike TV as Writers Guild Fights for Contract
Writers and producers voted to unionize over a year ago, but there’s still no contract.
They may not be lining up to tattoo the Writers Guild of America East logo on their biceps, but over 4,600 fans of Spike TV’s Ink Master are flexing their muscles in an ongoing dispute between the guild and Original Media, the Endemol Shine subsidiary that produces the popular reality competition series, signing an online petition that declares “It is Spike’s responsibility to ensure Original doesn't violate the rights of Ink Master writers and producers.”
Those employees voted to unionize in July 2014, but there’s no contract yet. Instead, says the guild, the company “crammed a substandard health plan down employees’ throats, which led the National Labor Relations Board to rule that Original violated federal labor law,” employees have filed claims for “massive” wage theft and an employee has sued for sexual harassment.
“We’re still waiting with them,” said WGAE executive director Lowell Peterson. “When a company wants to reach an agreement, they know how to do it.” He adds that the details of the health plan is the biggest issue between the two sides.
The guild is promising a protest at the Dave Navarro-hosted show’s live sixth season finale Oct. 13 in New York.
Original countered in a statement, “While negotiations between Original Media and the WGAE are ongoing, the WGAE continues to mislead our employees and others with distorted and incomplete information. We are disappointed that they are resorting to these tactics, instead of addressing these issues at the bargaining table where they should be discussed.”
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