AFTRA Endorses IATSE 'Biggest Loser' Organizing Campaign

AFTRA has a contract with the show, but producers have refused to sign with the IA and have hired replacement workers.

AFTRA has released an unequivocal statement of support for IATSE’s efforts to organize the crew of NBC’s Biggest Loser.

The statement was short and to the point: “AFTRA wholeheartedly supports IATSE in their efforts to organize the production crew of ‘The Biggest Loser.’ We have a contract that covers one performer who works on the program, and we believe that our colleagues in the crew also deserve the benefits, protections and good wages provided by a union contract.”

The 50-member crew has been on strike since last week, seeking a union contract primarily in order to obtain pension and health benefits. Fireworks are expected Monday morning, as IATSE picketers confront replacement workers hired by the show’s production companies.

The AFTRA contract with Loser has a no-strike provision, as is customary, which means that the performer is prohibited from walking off the job in solidarity with the crew even if the performer were so inclined (which is not known).

There is also a DGA contract with the show. The DGA has not issued any statement regarding the IATSE strike, and declined to comment for this story.