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Saturday, September 30, 2023

Universal Studios Dismisses Allegations of Trimming Trees to Expose Strikers to Extreme Heat

The strikers outside of Universal Studios raised concerns regarding the recent cutting of trees

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UNITED STATES: The trimming of tree branches on a section of road outside Universal Studios is being investigated by the Los Angeles city controller’s office. Owners of the studio NBC Universal have denied making it harder for striking writers and actors in the sweltering heat.

Los Angeles City Controller Kenneth Mejia claims tree branches were slashed back outside Universal Studios, causing difficulty for writers and actors on strike due to extreme heat. 

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The trees are “LA City managed,” and while StreetsLA is responsible for tree maintenance, companies can gain permits to trim trees.  

The strikers stationed outside Gate 8 of Universal Studios on Barham Blvd raised concerns on Monday regarding the recent cutting of a row of ficus trees. They expressed their discontent, noting that these trees had previously offered shade from the scorching heat, which was expected to reach 33 degrees Celsius (91 degrees Fahrenheit) later in the week.

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NBC Universal contradicted targeting strikes in a statement to the US media. The studio understands that the safety tree cutting off the ficus trees on Barham Blvd has created unforeseen obstacles for demonstrators, which was not their aim, according to NBC Universal.

The studio has trimmed these trees annually at this time of year in collaboration with licenced arborists. The studio supports the right of the WGA and SAG to demonstrate and is striving to give some shade coverage, as per Universal.

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NBC Universal contradicted itself by furnishing a safe path for strikers around construction work in its plant establishment. The lack of a temporary pedestrian lane on Lankershim Blvd., which has made it difficult for strikers to continue their demonstration there, has been criticised by the unions.

They further claimed that picketers are compelled to patrol on busy streets with heavy traffic, where two picketers have previously been hit by cars.

The National Labour Relations Board (NLRB) has been notified of the situation.

NBC Universal stated that they are certain that they have met their legal requirements under the National Labour Relations Act (NLRA) and that they will cooperate with any National Labour Relations Board investigations into this matter.

Also Read: Prior to SAG-AFTRA Strike, Hollywood Studios Claim to Offered $1 Billion to Actors in Rewards


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