Local 476 braves the cold to picket non-union shoot to support members, local spot producers

When a Philadephia-based commercial producer working at a local studio was unwilling to sign a union contract and pay worker benefits, Local 476 picketed the shoot on Wednesday.

At issue was the original hiring of a union crew by ShadowBox Pictures, which then replaced them with non-union workers because of benefits payment.

Some 17 union members braved freezing weather to picket outside of Brad Barrett’s AGLS facility where ShadowBox was shooting a spot for Guarantee Insurance of Glenview.

It starred Barbara Eden, a long-time SAG member who opted to cross the picket line.

The picketing shut down the shoot Wednesday for five hours, from 7 a.m. until noon, while 476 attempted unsuccessfully to negotiate a contract, said Mark Hogan, the union’s newly-elected business agent.

Several weeks earlier during preproduction, according to Hogan, the producer had hired a crew of mostly union members. As such, they informed the producer that they expected to receive health and pension and welfare benefits, which amounted to around $75 per union member.

“When the producer told us that he worked non-union, we put the job on hold,” Hogan said.