VFX crews at Walt Disney Studios have taken a significant stride towards unionization by submitting their application to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for an election to unionize.
Over 80% of the in-house VFX crew members at Walt Disney Pictures have signaled their intent to unionize by signing authorization cards, marking a historical moment in the industry.
A landmark development, this marks the second time VFX professionals have united to demand equal protections and rights within their field. Just recently, VFX crews at Marvel Studios also voted to unionize, with the balloting set to conclude on September 11 and the results revealed on September 12.
The move by VFX workers at Walt Disney Pictures reflects a turning point, as their collective action challenges the status quo in the industry. Their determination to reshape the way VFX functions signifies a broader movement across the sector.
The decision of VFX workers at Walt Disney Pictures to pursue unionization is both commendable and unprecedented, marking a pivotal moment in the industry’s trajectory. It speaks to a unified effort aimed at transforming not just one company, but the entire landscape of VFX work conditions.
This historic move towards unionization involves VFX professionals responsible for the visual effects in Walt Disney Pictures’ extensive portfolio, encompassing renowned titles like “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin,” and “The Lion King.”
The push for unionization among VFX workers, who have been traditionally non-union since the inception of the field during the production of the first “Star Wars” films, is a call for equitable compensation, fair healthcare, retirement benefits, and equal rights and protections enjoyed by their unionized counterparts.
The demands made by these VFX workers reflect a larger movement seeking improvements in the VFX Industry. These demands resonate with the findings of IATSE’s 2022 VFX Worker Rate and Conditions Survey, revealing prevailing sentiments within the community.
With the filing completed, the process could lead to a labor board election within two to three weeks. If a majority of these workers vote in favor of unionization, the studio would be obligated to initiate genuine negotiations for a comprehensive contract that covers these workers as a cohesive group.
This step towards unionization stands as a transformative moment, representing VFX workers’ resolve to shape a future that champions their rights, dignity, and fair treatment across the industry.