On Wednesday, Variety reported that 42 parking production assistants who worked on the HBO series Girls are suing the network, alleging they were not hired back to work on later seasons as an act of retaliation for demanding better pay and working conditions.
In 2015, dozens of parking assistants, whose job it is to ensure streets are clear of vehicles during TV and film shoots, sued several New York City production companies over wages and work conditions. HBO and Warner Bros. settled with some of those plaintiffs for $8 million in 2017.
According to Variety, the new lawsuit, which was filed on Wednesday by individuals who were part of that settlement, alleges that parking coordinator Maurice Cabrera asked the plaintiffs to sign a Working Agreement (a condition of further employment) whose terms required them to drop that suit.
Attorney James Vagnini, who sued the companies on behalf of the plaintiffs, told Variety, “They were vocal and they didn’t get any more work. These people are making millions of dollars and they’re going so far as to ice out workers that were just trying to stand up for their base ivl rights. HBO just supported and backed a long, long period of identifying and isolating and shutting out people.
Vagnini also said that the parking workers, who are typically people of color, tend to make a mere $125-$150 per shift, which can last a full production day (that amounts to something like 12 hours, six days a week). HBO issued a statement saying “We believe the case its without merit.”
In related news, on Monday some 400 parking assistants who work for ABC, HBO, CBS, NBC, NBC Cable, and Sony (roughly half of all such workers in New York City, according to Crains), voted to the join the Communication Workers of America union.