Visual effects artists at Walt Disney Pictures have unanimously voted to unionize with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), according to an election held by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
The 13-0 pro-union vote comes on the heels of VFX workers at Marvel Studios voting to join IATSE, amid ongoing strikes by the WGA and SAG-AFTRA as they push for new contracts with studios.
Mack Robinson, a VFX senior coordinator said, “For so long we’ve wanted the same protections as everyone else, but there was no hope in sight. Winning this election was a long fight, but I’m proud to say it’s been won by each and every VFX worker wanting a brighter, sustainable future.”
Mark Patch, IATSE VFX Organizer added, “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. 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 18 in-house Disney VFX artists eligible to vote are seeking improved compensation, healthcare, retirement benefits and rights afforded to unionized coworkers. This team has created effects for Disney films like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King.
VFX workers have remained non-union despite calls for industry change. Their union push aligns with IATSE’s 2022 survey showing desire for better VFX conditions. With workers united, negotiations with Disney executives on a union contract addressing their needs are the next step, though no dates are set yet.
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