Visual effects workers at Walt Disney Pictures are seeking to unionize with IATSE, which says that a supermajority of the 18 in-house VFX crewmembers employed there have signed cards with the National Labor Relations Board seeking to be represented by the union. Walt Disney Pictures is a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios.
IATSE, which called it an “historic move,” noted that this is the second time this month that VFX workers at a major company have voted to unionize. On August 7, more than 50 VFX workers at Marvel Studios filed for a similar unionization election.
“The determination of these VFX workers is not just commendable, it’s groundbreaking,” said IATSE President Matt Loeb. “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.”
While most below-the-line film and TV industry jobs have historically been represented by IATSE, visual effects workers have not.
“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,” said IATSE VFX Organizer Mark Patch. “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.”
According to IATSE, the unionizing workers are “demanding fair compensation for all hours worked, adequate health care, retirement benefits, and more generally, the same rights and protections afforded to their unionized coworkers who are already represented by IATSE.”