Disney VFX Artists Unanimously Vote to Unionise

Disney VFX Artists Unanimously Vote to Unionise

A unit of VFX artists at Walt Disney Pictures has successfully voted to unionise with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, marking another step forward in the swath of labour movements sweeping Hollywood this year—and another vital step in the nascent unionization push in the VFX industry.

Variety reports that the vote with the National Labor Relations Board—a necessary major step in the official formation of a union—was a unanimous 13-0 in favour of unionising the 18-member group, whose work has appeared on recent Disney blockbusters such as the live-action remakes of Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King. The news comes just weeks after a group of Marvel Studios VFX staffers became the first unit of solely VFX workers to vote in favour of unionisation with IATSE, likewise seeking similar protections and benefits already found in other areas of movie production.

“Today’s unanimous victory shows that VFX workers everywhere have a clear path to winning a meaningful say about their working conditions and quality of life,” IATSE VFX Organizer Mark Patch, said in a statement to press “We’ll be continuing our work to win a great contract, but we need to bring every studio and vendor in line to bring those union standards to all VFX workers.”

The VFX industry is a rare area of Hollywood that has historically refrained from unionization efforts, but as strength in labour actions has seen a resurgence in recent years, and there’s been more and more reporting on the unsustainable workloads blockbuster movie studios are putting on increasingly-vital VFX houses, it’s clear that Hollywood is on the precipice of another labour reckoning. As the industry still grapples with the WGA’s successful strike period culminating in a game changing contract for workers, and SAG-AFTRA returns to negotiating tables, it’s clear that the moviemaking industry’s hot labour summer is going to last a little longer than the season itself.

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