Workers Who Secure Parking For NYC Movie Shoots Claim Studios Are Skimping On Pay

Tourists and residents of New York City alike have no doubt seen those ubiquitous neon signs plastered all over lamp posts from time to time, which serve to alert car owners that they won’t be able to park there on a certain day or days because of a movie or TV crew that will be shooting there. It’s one part of an unglamorous job in the entertainment business, but someone’s got to do it — and those people are now suing the studios over claims they’re not paid enough for often long, thankless hours they put in, often in less than ideal conditions.

The workers in charge of securing street parking for movies, called parking production assistants, have the unenviable job of making sure no commoners park where the movie trucks and trailers need to park. It can be a hard job — workers often have to watch over the film vehicles in 12-hour shifts on the set of movies, according to federal labor lawsuits reported by the Associated Press.

Several workers filed sued Lionsgate, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros, and others on Tuesday, claiming that they often aren’t paid for all the hours they work, and won’t get overtime while sometimes working 80 or even more than 100 hours a week.

“We’re always overlooked and underpaid,” one parking assistant said at a news conference Wednesday. “We’re subjected to sleeping in our cars and using the bathroom in buckets … when these billion-dollar companies have the money to at least give us a Porta-Potty.”

The parking coordinators get paid a flat rate, often around $150, for a 12-hour shift, their lawyer, James Vagnini, said.

“It should be a job that’s exciting. Who wouldn’t want to work on a set with celebrities and all these great crews?” he said. Instead, parking workers have “been ignored, subjected to horrible conditions and, now, unfairly underpaid.”

The movie studios declined to comment on this week’s lawsuits.

New York movie shoot parking workers sue studios over pay [Associated Press]