Sharks were in the water in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, and not just the usual array of legislators, lobbyists and lawyers.
Sharknado 3 was filming near the White House, and the production was met by IATSE picketers, who are seeking a union contract with standardized working conditions as well as pension and health benefits.
According to the union, all IATSE members walked off the job. However, the union did not indicate that production was shut down.
“Representatives of the IATSE and its local unions will be present whenever and wherever this production attempts to film in and around Washington, D.C.,” said Dan Mahoney, assistant director of the union’s motion picture department.
Picketing started last week in Los Angeles on the Syfy/The Asylum TV movie. A rep of The Asylum did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to IATSE, the job action has forced producers to rewrite a number of scenes, extend their shooting schedule and scale back production. The union says the film is scheduled to shoot in Washington, D.C., for the next three days.
Previously, an Asylum marketing executive referred a reporter’s inquiry to an outside representative, Scott Meehan, an attorney who has represented Asylum in the past. He then issued a statement that mocked the union:
“We are happy to report that we have reached an agreement with the International Brotherhood of Selachimorpha, which represents the sharks in our film. We will be increasing the amount of chum at the craft services table and will no longer require our employees to sleep without moving.”
Selachimorpha is the scientific name for sharks.
The movie features Internet entrepreneur/Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban playing the U.S. president and conservative commentator/author Ann Coulter playing the vp.
“We will not forget how The Asylum treated their employees when they asked for the same union benefits and protections that were provided to the crew on Sharknado 2,” said IATSE’s Mahoney. “It is employees working for anti-worker companies like The Asylum who need the enforceable working conditions and protections of a union agreement the most.”
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