Michael Moore Snubs Union Workers in Making 'Capitalism: A Love Story'

Liberal filmmaker hired some non-union workers for union jobs.

ByABC News
September 30, 2009, 4:59 PM

Oct. 1, 2009— -- Michael Moore used some non-union crewmembers when union workers were available in the production of his latest film "Capitalism: A Love Story," a documentary that argues the capitalist system allows for greedy corporations to exploit working-class people.

"For all of the different jobs on the movie that could have used union labor, he used union labor, except for one job, the stagehands, represented by IATSE," said a labor source unauthorized to talk about Moore's decision not to hire members of The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.

In a statement issued to ABCNews.com, Moore's agent, Ari Emanuel, said the filmmaker wished the union included more documentary crew people -- but he did not deny that IATSE members were snubbed in favor of non-union employees.

"The sad fact is that documentary/verite theatrical films and the talented people who work on them are too often treated as second-class filmmakers, when they are among the most creative, talented and hardworking, and often produce our finest films," said Emanuel.

"Nothing would make Michael happier than for documentary filmmaking to get its due respect, and to have unions pursue the documentary film crews with the same energy they give to bringing feature crews into their membership and making it a viable option for them," he said.

"This is a Writer's Guild, Screen Actors Guild and Directors Guild film, as all of Michael's films are. He is a proud, dues-paying member of all three of these unions," said Emanuel.

Moore is the sole writer, director and professional actor credited in the film.

It was unclear exactly how many union or non-union employees worked on the film.

As a result of Moore's decision not to use IATSE workers, at least one other national union, the American Federation of Teachers has refused free tickets offered to them from Moore.

"Michael Moore and one of our sister unions, IATSE, are in discussions about concerns that union has. The AFT has decided against accepting free tickets until those issues are resolved," the teachers union said in a statement.