Marvel's VFX Workers Unionize, Demand Fair Treatment
Marvel's decision to unionize sets a precedent, with Disney VFX workers following suit, advocating for change in the industry.
In a groundbreaking development, Marvel Studios' visual effects personnel have unanimously chosen to unionize with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). This pivotal decision followed an election administered by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), with the announcement made by the company on Wednesday, as reported by Variety.
This signifies the first instance where a dedicated unit of VFX workers has affiliated with IATSE. The process began with the filing for the election on August 7, and the voting period spanned August 21 to September 11. During the vote tally conducted on September 12, every ballot cast affirmed the decision to unionize with IATSE.
BREAKING: Marvel VFX workers have just won a historic first union in the visual effects industry.— More Perfect Union (@MorePerfectUS) September 13, 2023
The workers who power the biggest superhero movies on the planet voted unanimously to unionize with @vfxunion.
This is a major first step for the industry, and Disney is next. pic.twitter.com/xmjiW0etvo
"Today, VFX workers at Marvel Studios spoke with a unanimous, collective voice, demanding fair pay for the hours they work, healthcare, a safe and sustainable working environment, and respect for the work they do." said Mark Patch, the VFX organizer for IATSE. He further underscored the significance of this outcome, highlighting the necessity to extend union protections and standards to all VFX workers throughout the industry.
Marvel Studios stands as the sole in-house VFX team that has joined forces with IATSE so far, though Walt Disney Pictures' VFX personnel recently initiated their unionization efforts in late August.
The subsequent phase for the union entails engaging in collective bargaining negotiations with Marvel Studios' executives to craft a contract that caters to the workers' requirements. Presently, the negotiation dates are pending scheduling.
This vote takes place amidst ongoing strikes by the Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, as these guilds persist in pursuing equitable contracts with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.
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