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Disney VFX Workers Vote To Unionize After Industry-Wide Allegations Of Mistreatment & Overworking-TGN


  • Disney VFX workers have voted to unionize in response to allegations of mistreatment and overworking.
  • Visual effects crews at Walt Disney are following the lead of Marvel VFX workers who voted to unionize earlier this month.
  • More than 80 percent of the in-house VFX crew members at Walt Disney Pictures have signed authorization cards signaling their desire to unionize, a significant step toward unionization.

Following industry-wide allegations of mistreatment of overworking, Disney VFX workers have voted to unionize. VFX workers at Marvel Studios, a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios, voted to unionize earlier this month. The studio, which produces the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and TV shows, has been accused by its employees of mistreatment. Their move to unionize was expected to set an industry-changing precedent, and the ripple effects are already being seen.

Today, just weeks after Marvel VFX Workers voted to unionize, visual effects crews at Walt Disney are following suit. Per Variety, Disney VFX workers took a significant step towards unionizing by requesting an election through the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). More than 80 percent of the 18 VFX crew members employed directly by Walt Disney Pictures have submitted authorization cards indicating their intention to form a union. IATSE VFX organizer Mark Patch and the International President of IATSE Matthew D. Loeb issued the following statements:

Patch: Today, courageous Visual Effects workers at Walt Disney Pictures overcame the fear and silence that have kept our community from having a voice on the job for decades. With an overwhelming supermajority of these crews demanding an end to “the way VFX has always been,” this is a clear sign that our campaign is not about one studio or corporation. It’s about VFX workers across the industry using the tools at our disposal to uplift ourselves and forge a better path forward.

Loeb: The determination of these VFX workers is not just commendable, it’s groundbreaking. Their collective action against the status quo represents a seismic shift in this critical moment in our industry. The chorus of voices demanding change is unprecedented, and demonstrates our united movement is not about any one company, but about setting a precedent of dignity, respect, and fairness for all.

VFX Workers Take Another Step Towards Complete Unionization

Since visual effects were pioneered by the Star Wars movies during the 1970s and 1980s, the field has been non-union. That was until Marvel VFX workers voted to unionize earlier this month, marking a Hollywood first that was expected to set an industry-changing precedent. The Disney-owned studio has been under fire with many VFX workers speaking out about Marvel’s poor working conditions, including unfair compensation and being overworked to meet impossible deadlines.

Disney doesn’t have the same reputation for mistreating VFX workers, though they have helped create billion-dollar movies – such as Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King – which the studio has profited off of immensely. As part of their efforts to unionize, Disney VFX workers are making reasonable demands which include fair compensation for all hours worked, adequate health care, and retirement benefits. These demands echo the increasing calls for improvements across the VFX industry.

Disney VFX workers voting to unionize also comes as the writers and actors unions, the WGA and SAG-AFTRA, remain on strike fighting for fair pay and improved working conditions. Now, in a move mirroring the dual strike, Disney VFX workers are joining Marvel in a historical effort to unionize. However, if they vote in favor, they will have a long road of contract negotiations ahead of them.

Source: Variety

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