Marvel visual effects workers vote unanimously to unionize

Also, elections are currently underway for Disney’s 18 in-house VFX crewmembers

The VFX workers at Marvel Studios voted unanimously to join the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, marking the first time visual effects workers have joined IATSE.

The election was overseen by the National Labor Relations Board, and the count was held on Tuesday, after Marvel employees first filed for this election on August 7.

“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,” Mark Patch, IATSE’s VFX Organizer, said in a release.

Though this union only includes Marvel’s in-house VFX workers, at the end of August, its parent company Disney’s visual effects crews filed for their own election to unionize with the NLRB, backed by IATSE. According to IATSE, those unionizing VFX workers are behind some of Walt Disney Pictures’ biggest hits, including live-action adaptations of “Lion King,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin,” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

IATSE reported that elections for Disney’s 18 in-house VFX crewmembers are currently underway.

VFX jobs have historically been unrepresented by unions, despite the fact that IATSE covers a wide range of positions from production design to lighting and props.

“I grew up wanting to work on Marvel movies, so when I started my first job at Marvel, I felt like I couldn’t complain about the unpaid overtime, the lack of meal breaks, and the incredible pressure put on VFX teams to meet deadlines because I was just supposed to be grateful to be here at all.” “However, the reality is that every worker deserves rights,” said Sarah Kazuko Chow, Marvel’s VFX Coordinator.

However, a surge of organizing in the field coincides with the peak of Hollywood’s labor movement. Productions have ground to a halt since the Writers Guild of America announced a strike in May, followed by the actors’ union, SAG-AFTRA, going on strike in July.

The Marvel VFX employees will now enter into collective bargaining negotiations with their employer in order to draft a contract.

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