Marvel VFX workers vote unanimously to unionize
Entertainment unions and labor are having a year with ongoing strikes, contracts being approved, and the first a unit of solely VFX workers has unionized. Marvel Studios’ Visual Effects (VFX) Workers voted unanimously in favor of unionizing with the IATSE. The belief is this is the first of many in the visual effects space to unionize.
The vote took place on Monday after an election agreement was reached in August. There was a “high turnout” of the roughly 50 Marvel employees.
The next step is for the union to begin its bargaining negotions with the studio to draft a union contract. No date for that has been scheduled.
There is another vote to unionize that will begin soon by VFX staffers working for Walt Disney Pictures. That vote begins on Friday and runs through October 2nd.
In both of these cases, these are employees of the studios, not the artists who work for third-party VFX comapnies.
IATSE organizer Mark Patch said:
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. There could be no stronger statement highlighting the overwhelming need for us to continue our work and bring union protections and standards to all VFX workers across the industry. And there could be no stronger example of the courage and solidarity of these workers than each and every one of them declaring ‘union Yes!’
The vote by Marvel VFX workers comes after numerous stories about working conditions that included long hours, seven-day work weeks, and release crunch. Also mentioned is unpaid overtime, credits, wages, and retirement benefits.