Please Pay Production Assistants

They are Hollywood's migrant workers, the gofers, the errand boys, the Girls Friday. They are Hollywood's production assistants, the lowest-paid workers on the set -- if paid at all -- and the only ones without a union, the only ones no union even wants to bother with. In Hollywood's caste system, they are the untouchables.

These PAs work in nearly every phase of production and postproduction, and sometimes their employers break the law by not even paying them.

There are transportation production assistants (the Teamsters don't want them); camera PAs (the Photographers Guild doesn't want them); costume PAs (the Costumers Local doesn't want them); office PAs (the Office Workers Local doesn't want them); and art department PAs (the Art Directors union doesn't want them, either).

Production assistants have five things in common: They're young, they're multitaskers, they're trying to break into show business, they wear earpieces on the set so they can be yelled at from afar -- and they all have stories of abuse. Our estimate is that, at any given time, there are hundreds of such people in Hollywood that fit the PA description.


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