TMZ broke the story ... members of the cast went on strike yesterday, refusing to shoot over the weekend for Season 3.
Sources connected with 495 Productions tell TMZ the cast is ultimately hurting the show. As one source put it, "The show is not about famous rich people with managers coming to the Shore."
495 would like to keep a few of the cast members -- notably The Situation, Snooki and Pauly D -- but they think the strike by the cast is the last straw.
We're told the cast feels like they've been tricked, because they felt their contract -- which gives each of them $10,000 an episode -- was only supposed to cover Season 2 in Miami. They feel they're being screwed now that producers want them to go to the Shore and shoot another installment under the existing deal.
As we first reported, The Situation is being tempted with a sweet new contract and we're told it's pissed off some of the other cast as well as the crew.
Here's the rub ... Sources say MTV thinks they have "magic in a bottle" with this group and wants to keep the cast intact.
A rep for MTV had no comment.